How do you establish paternity in North County San Diego? If you are the father of a child in Carlsbad, Oceanside, Encinitas, Vista or anywhere in San Diego and want to protect your rights as a the father of your child what actions must you take? If a father is not married to the baby’s mother, does he have any enforceable child custody and parenting time rights at all?
The State of California and our Courts here in North County wish to make sure the father of a child has the legal right to participate in the life of their child. Unfortunately, California law does not provide any custody rights to the father of a child who is not married to the mother at the time of the child’s birth.
The unmarried mother of a child has all legal custody rights over a child including the right to take the baby and move out of the are or out of state with out the father’s knowledge or permission.
There are two ways to establish the legal rights of a father here in California:
1. Both parents sign a voluntary petition at the time of the child’s birth known as the “Declaration of Paternity.” This form may be signed at the hospital, or any time after the child’s birth. However, until the form is filed with the California Department of Child Support Services the father has no effective legal rights. If this form is properly executed and filed it should carry the same weight as a Court order.
2. Pursue Court orders based upon a simple DNA test. The test involves swabbing the insides of the cheeks of the baby and the father and mother. This process is used when one of the parties disputes parentage of the child, or when the father wants to ensure legal custody rights and orders are issued by the Court.
If you have questions about how to establish paternity in North County San Diego we invite you to contact the experienced Certified Family Law Specialists at Burke & Domercq or call 760-712-3741 to learn more or schedule an appointment.