Trevino Law, Inc.

A Family Law Firm Located in South Orange County

For a family law lawyer call:  949.716.2102

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If you have a crises in your life, chances are, you need a divorce attorney . Whether it is child support , child custody , property division , or spousal support , Trevino Law can help you through. Trevino Law is dedicated to helping individuals through the legal process. If you are facing a family law issue, it is important to contact an attorney even before the petition is filed. 

(Also Known as Paternity)

Parentage for Unmarried Parents

There are ways for unmarried adults to estabish a presumption for parentage.

For married people there are presumptions that when a couple marries, the child of the marriage or the child born close to the time of marriage is the presumed child of the couple.

Parentage for most females is straightforward, because of the fact of birth. When a woman gives birth she is regarded as the natural mother. 

However, if the parents are not married, there are several ways a person can establishe parentage. If the parties attempted to marry then the father qualifies as a presumed parent.

Another way an unmarried couple establishes parentage is if both parents sign a Voluntary Declaration of Paternity. The document is then filed with the Department of Child Support Services and is the equivalent of a judgment.

A final way is for a person to establish parentage is to hold the child out as his or her own child and receive the child into his or her home. 

Unform Parentage Act (Family Code 7600 et seq.)

Statutes Define a Parent-Child Relationship

According to Family Code section 7601(a) , a natural parent is defined as a non-adoptive parent. Although biology is a factor in determining parentage, it is not dispositive.

Section (b) of 7601 defines a parent-child relationship as a legal relationship between a child and an adult by which the law imposes rights, privileges, duties, and obligations.

Based on section (c) of that same section, a minor child may have more than two parents, and all statutes previously written should be interpreted as if the law contemplated more than two parents. 

The fact that the parents are married may not be legally irrelevant to a parent-child relationship.

Statutes Define How Parentage is Established

A child born during a marriage is conclusively presumed to be the husband's as long as at the time of conception, the fahter is not impotent or sterile. 

If a mother, father, child, or a presumed parent suspects that another person is the father, that person should file a motion for a blood tests. Motions for blood tests must be filed within two years of the child's birth and only a father, mother, child, or presumed parent may file for a blood test under this section.

Blood tests, however, cannot be used to challenge paternity in a case that reached final judgment before September of 1980 or in an assisted reproduction case.

Statutes Also Provide for Attorney Fees and Visitation

A court may order visitation pending paternity cases if it finds that it is in the best interest of the child, and there are reasons to believe that a parent-child relationship exists.

Parties to a paternity action can request attorney fees. Attorney fees are likely to be awarded if there is a disparity of income between the parties and if one person can pay for both parties' legal representation.

Before a court orders or modifies custody where one parent  does not appear, the court shall request the birth certificate of the child National Crime Information Center Missing Person System to ascertain if the child has been reported missing.