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California Paternity Lawyer

Are you involved in a paternity dispute?

When unmarried parents need to sort out their rights and obligations, the process begins with properly identifying the father. If the alleged father did not sign a Declaration of Paternity when the child was born and later questions whether or not the child is his, within a specified time-frame, he has a right to request genetic testing.

Chavis Law Firm represents parents on both sides of this issue; the alleged father, or the mother making the allegation. Parentage must be established first to determine who the legal parents of the child are, and only then may the issues of custody, visitation and child support proceed. This process is called establishing parentage. A slightly different legal procedure is used when a child is born prior to a marriage, and, generally, a child born after marriage is presumed to be the child of the parties to the marriage.

Establishing paternity is important because fathering a child outside of marriage can carry the responsibility of child support, but does not necessarily grant the father any rights to a relationship with the child. If established, an official judgment of paternity can make the child eligible for benefits such as Social Security or Veteran's Dependent Benefits, medical insurance and can secure his or her status as an heir for purposes of inheritance and, of course, child support.

At Chavis Law Firm, we understand that the question of paternity is an emotional issue as well as a legal and financial one. Whether you are a father seeking to establish paternity in order to assert your rights to custody or visitation, a man seeking to overcome the presumption of paternity for a child born during a marriage, a man seeking to defend against a claim of paternity, or a mother concerned to get help for herself and her child, you can speak to us confidentially about your concerns. Contact us to arrange a consultation.

Folsom Divorce Lawyer
What to bring on your first appointment
Will questionnaire
income/expense declaration
schedule of assets and debts
Notice regarding healthcare responsibilities


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