In the unfortunate event that a parent finds herself or himself alone with the newborn,there are options an individual can take in hopes of improving the life of both the parentand child. When an unwed mother accuses a man of being the father of her child or viceversa, this is a legal dispute called a paternity suit. Where paternity of a child is an issue,any party in interest, the mother, the father, or the child, can ask the court for adetermination. A private action for paternity is usually either brought by the mother (attimes with the counsel of an expertSan Diego divorce attorney) in order to get support or by the father to establish his legal rights as the father. Regardless of who brings the paternity suit to court, litigation can be brought by a private party.
InSan Diego divorcelawyers advise clients to familiarize themselves with terms anddefinitions of paternity suits when filing this type of case
A person identified as the child's father in paternity suits is called the "putative father".When the suit names the putative father as a defendant in a paternity case, he has a choiceof either consenting to the entry of a paternity judgment or contesting the action. If the putative father consents, he would sign a Declaration Acknowledging Paternity, whichwould establish the legal relationship between the father and the child. It is imperativethat you seek the advice of aSan Diego family lawattorney in your area beforeconsenting.If the putative father denies that he is the father or is not sure, DNA tests based on acheek swab conducted on him, the mother, and the child can indicate a probability of paternity. The tests can exclude a man who is not the biological father and show thelikelihood of paternity if he is not excluded.DNA testing has become the most powerful test for determining paternity and isadmissible in paternity trials. The percentage is usually from 95 to 99 percent. Thatmeans that if the test determines that the probability is that percentage or higher, paternityis presumed. The burden is on the putative father to rebut the presumption, which is avery difficult task. In addition to child support, paternity establishes emotional, social,and economic ties between the father and the child. Once paternity is legally established,the child gains certain legal rights and privileges.In California, there are critical time limitations on bringing an action for paternity.Therefore, in order to protect your rights as a father, mother, or those of your child, it isimportant that you check with an experiencedSan Diego family law attorneyregarding paternity laws.