In California, legal actions involving issues pertaining to the minor children of an unmarried set of parents are known as “paternity” cases. A Paternity action is normally filed by an unmarried mother or by an unmarried father who have a minor child(ren) together and who want unequivocally to establish parentage as well as establish orders regarding child custody and child support of such child(ren).

California presumes that children born to married couples are the biological progeny of both marital parents. However, such a presumption does not exist for unmarried parents. As a result, the initial issue in many paternity cases is establishment of biological paternity by the party who claims to be the father.

Often, this is done using DNA or blood testing to scientifically determine parents of the child(ren). Once parentage is established, the parties can stipulate to the child’s paternity and then begin to make appropriate arrangements for child support and child custody arrangements. If the non-paternity parent is found not to be the biological father, he is not obligated to provide support for the child(ren) in question and may not have custodial rights either.

DNA testing and blood analysis can be ordered by the Court if the other parent is not agreeable or cooperative.

The Law Offices of Matthew Smurda will stand by its clients throughout the difficult and trying process of establishing or disputing biological paternity.