Paternity (Established Parentage) in Los Angeles and throughout California
The expert legal team of attorneys at the Law Offices of Robert J. Nachshin are thoroughly familiar with all child custody laws in California and have experience in handling all child custody matters including those that deal with establishing parental rights of a minor child or minor children.
California law presumes that a child born during marriage is the biological offspring of the husband and wife. Therefore, legal parentage of the child is automatically established unless and until one party attempts to rebut the presumption with unequivocal proof that the husband is not the biological father. Legal parentage is not automatic, however, when a child is born out of wedlock and must instead be established through some other means.
A paternity action is where a DNA or blood test is used to determine who the minor child’s biological father is. Historically, questions of maternal parentage rarely arose due to the presumption that a woman who bears a child is that child’s legal parent. Nowadays, however, the legal recognition of parental rights is far more complex.
The expansive growth of assisted reproductive techniques—including the use of surrogate mothers—and the fact that the law now recognizes parental rights in both men and women who lack a biological connection to a child have altered the traditional analysis of who is a parent. Court’s today even accept the possibility that a child may have two legally recognized parents of the same gender (something that until recently was not legally possible). As such, the term “paternity” is becoming increasingly less common and in its place the term “parentage” is being used more and more often. Parentage refers to the parental rights of both men and women consistent with California’s evolved current legal framework.
In addition to a DNA or blood test, today, legal parentage can be established a various of ways, including, but not limited to, the execution of a parentage declaration, adoption, the use of assisted reproductive techniques with the intent of becoming a parent, and by receiving a child into his or her home and holding the child out as his or her natural child.
Legal parentage of a minor child gives rise to a multitude of legal rights, privileges, duties, and obligations, such as child custody and visitation rights, immigration rights, social security rights, etc. As such, California courts may be called on to establish parentage or otherwise consider parentage issues in a wide variety of proceedings and forums such as a divorce proceeding.
The Law Offices of Robert J. Nachshin’s skillful team has had extensive experience in paternity and child custody matters and has a proven track record of successes for its clients.