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Establishing Paternity in Orange County

Orange County Paternity Lawyer

Gill Law Group handles paternity actions for both fathers and mothers who are seeking to establish paternity and parental rights. We understand the sensitive nature of paternity cases and, as such, represent clients with the highest levels of discretion and confidentiality. Our ​family law firm strives to resolve your paternity case quickly and efficiently so you and your child can move on with peace of mind.

In California, paternity can be established:

  • Voluntarily. When a couple is married, the husband is presumed to be the father, who will then be listed on the child’s birth certificate.
  • By a paternity suit. When the mother is unmarried or there is a dispute regarding paternity, the mother can file a paternity action to verify parentage through DNA testing.

Once paternity is established, we can assist with other related issues such as child support and child custody/visitation.

Why Paternity Is Important

The rights and responsibilities of a parent derive from the parent-child relationship. The law recognizes specific legal duties that a parent owes to their child. Without a parent-child relationship, rights such as custody, visitation, and child support are unenforceable. Additionally, the existence of a parent-child relationship between two individuals affords inheritance rights between the parent and their child.

Paternity—also known as “parentage” under California law—is a legal process where the question of whether a parent-child relationship exists is determined by courts. As a result, parentage suits are important proceedings that can deeply affect the lives of the parties involved.

Protecting Parental Rights

Paternity proceedings are the first step in protecting a parent’s legal rights and responsibilities regarding the care, custody, and control of their children. Likewise, such proceedings are a significant starting point for securing financial support for minor children. Given the significance of such proceedings, retaining effective legal counsel to preserve those rights is vital to the interests of the parties.

Establishing Paternity in California

In California, issues of parentage can be resolved through judicial determination. There are several legal presumptions that conclusively establish the fact of paternity.

Paternity is legally presumed in the following situations:

  • Marital status: If an individual was legally married to the child’s birth mother at the time of their birth, the law presumes that they are the child’s legal parent.
  • Voluntary acknowledgment: A parent who is not married to the child’s birth mother may establish parentage if they filed a voluntary acknowledgment of parentage when their child was born.
  • Genetic testing: The genetic relationship between a person and a child provides conclusive evidence of parentage. This genetic connection may be demonstrated through the results of a certified blood test indicating a significant genetic relationship between the purported parent and the child.
  • The child’s best interests: Like child custody proceedings, the issue of parentage—and the rights that come along with it—are subject to a judicial assessment of whether the recognition and enforcement of parental rights would serve the child’s best interests.

Rights of Parents & Children

It is not enough to simply be declared a child’s father on a birth certificate. Once parentage is established, the father is obligated to provide financial support and care for the child. The child can also enjoy rights and the benefit of knowing his or her father.

Once paternity is established:

  • The child can enjoy inheritance rights from the father
  • The father has a right to participate in deciding the child’s health care, religion, education, etc.
  • The mother has a right to seek child support from the father
  • The child can have access to the father’s veteran’s benefits, social security, health insurance, and medical history

Our Paternity Lawyers in Orange County Are Here to Help

Whether you are a father seeking parental rights to your child or a mother looking to verify paternity, we can guide you through the legal process. We can discuss the rights and obligations of each parent and how this can affect your child. A Orange County paternity lawyer from our team can work with you to make sure that your child is not harmed or traumatized during the process.

Contact us at (949) 681-9952 to learn more!

Get to Know Our Team

  • Raja S. Gill
    Raja S. Gill Founding Attorney
  • Stephanie Reyes
    Stephanie Reyes Attorney
  • Kyle Shiroma
    Kyle Shiroma Attorney
  • Edgar C. Johnson, Jr.
    Edgar C. Johnson, Jr. Of Counsel
  • Raja S. Gill Founding Attorney
    Raja S. Gill

    Attorney Hetinder “Raja” Gill has been awarded membership in the National Trial Lawyers: Top 40 Under 40, and he maintains a Superb Avvo Rating. View Profile

  • Stephanie Reyes Attorney
    Stephanie Reyes

    Mrs. Reyes is an aggressive advocate in divorce and family law matters and has extensive experience in custody and financial disputes. View Profile

  • Kyle Shiroma Attorney
    Kyle Shiroma

    Mr. Shiroma uses his experiences and perspectives to zealously advocate for the family law clients of the Gill Law Group. View Profile

  • Edgar C. Johnson, Jr. Of Counsel
    Edgar C. Johnson, Jr.

    Attorney Johnson graduated Western State University School of Law and has over 25 years of litigation experience. View Profile

Recognized for Excellence

Attorney Gill's Memberships & Professional Associations

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