When there is a child support dispute of any kind in California, numerous issues can be the cause. One in particular is determining the child's paternity. There are times when there is a question as to whom the biological father is. Establishing paternity is a key when issues of child support are decided. There are other factors that make paternity establishment an important part of the child and parents' lives. With paternity, the child will know who the father is. In a legal sense, the child will also derive all the proper benefits he or she has the right to receive.
Legal rights that the child will receive once paternity is established are: child support from both parents; a legal document that will show who the parents are; the names of the parents on the child's birth certificate; the ability on the part of both parents to have access to the child's medical records; health and life insurance from the parents; the right to an inheritance from the parents; and the right to receive various benefits including Social Security and veteran's benefits.
After paternity is proven, the court has the right to make orders for child support to account for the child's financial needs work, in the best interests of the child when it comes to visitation and living arrangements, and handle other legal issues that come up. If there is no established paternity, the court will not be able to make orders with these situations. If, for example, a father is refusing to pay child support and is denying that the child is his, nothing can be done until it is shown who the father is.
A man will be the presumed father if he was married to the child's mother at the time of conception; if he tried to marry the mother even if it was invalid and the child was conceived during that time; he married the mother post-birth and agreed to have his name placed on the birth certificate or to provide child support; or he took the child into his residence and behaved as if the child was his. The importance of paternity cannot be overstated. Those who are in the midst of a child support dispute or are concerned about paternity need to understand the child support guidelines when it comes to paternity and have help from an experienced attorney.