San Luis Obispo Paternity Attorneys
When unwed parties have a child, a court must make a paternity finding before parental rights and obligations can be determined. San Luis Obispo paternity attorneys Hosford & Hosford have been supporting clients in these matters for over 35 years.
The decisions that the court makes ensure that children receive the care that they need and that the right people are providing this care. Whether you are disputing or seeking to establish paternity, rely on our law firm for guidance in your case.
About Establishing Parentage, Paternity Rights, and Obligations
There are two ways to establish parentage:
- A person can voluntarily claim paternity using a declaration of paternity form.
- A San Luis Obispo paternity attorney can help you petition the court for DNA testing.
The court may order DNA testing if the child’s mother won’t sign the declaration of paternity form or if the potential father will not voluntarily claim paternity. If testing shows that a person is not the child’s biological father, the court may free him of his parental obligations, and he will give up parental rights.
However, if the court establishes paternity, the parent can request custody and visitation orders from the court. This creates a legal right to visit with the child. Though legal parents each have an equal right to seek child custody, it’s uncommon for custody to change when the parents are unmarried.
A family law judge will issue a ruling on these issues as well as the parent’s obligations. The court looks to make decisions in the best interests of the child. If a court determines parentage, that person will be responsible for paying child support and may be required to pay some healthcare and child care costs. It is a crime to not provide support.
Legal Counsel from Hosford & Hosford
Hosford & Hosford encourages clients to take action in a timely manner whether you are seeking to establish paternity or to disprove it. Otherwise:
- You may lose the chance to establish parentage. This may prevent you from receiving the financial support your child is due.
- The court may determine you are the child’s parent, even if this is not the case, and you will be obligated to pay for his / her care.
To get started, Hosford & Hosford will schedule an initial consultation with you. Our attorneys will discuss your case and advise you about achieving your goals. Following this discussion, we can guide you through the complex paternity process and serve as your legal representative before the court.