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Filing a Declaration of Paternity

In the state of California, if parents are not married at the time of a child's birth, then only the mother's name will be put on the birth certificate. This is the automatic way that the hospitals will handle this situation, unless a father can sign a declaration of paternity in the hospital or sign the form later and legally establish paternity through the courts.

For a father that wants custodial rights to his child, it is important that he get a paternity test done as soon as possible. If he cannot list his name on the birth certificate in the hospital, then a parent may be able to pay a fee to amend the birth certificate after the courts have established that you are a parent to the child.

A declaration of paternity is a form which will legally establish that a man is the father of a particular child. The biological mother will be asked to sign the declaration of paternity was well if she is not married. It must be signed by the father of the child regardless of his marital status. Signing the form is voluntary, so a biological mother who does not wish to acknowledge a declaration of paternity does not have to. This does not mean that the father may not still be able to establish the order.

A declaration of paternity will have the same effect as a court order and will be filed with the California Department of Child Support Services. Parents that are under the age of eighteen will need to wait until they are over the age of eighteen or are legally emancipated to be declared as a parent of the child. If you want more information about paternity or establishing paternity, a San Fernando family lawyer can help you today!


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