During a California divorce, the term “presumed parent” may come up. If one spouse contests another’s parentage, especially if a parent had a child before the marriage, it can be an issue in the divorce and parentage may be contested.
In a California divorce, the court may need to determine the identities of a children’s parents for legal reasons. Establishing parentage may be necessary if there are disagreements between the parents. This usually is a debate about the fatherhood of the child. When married couples give birth to a child, the court usually assumes the married couple is the child’s parents. Unless one of the parents states otherwise, the birth certificate will list the presumed parents, which are the married mother and father.
If parents are not married at the birth of the child, the law does not assume parentage. Unmarried fathers will need to establish parentage through other means. These may include a paternity test or a voluntarily declaration of paternity.
After establishment of parentage
Once a person is established as the father or mother of a child, they will have all the rights and responsibilities of the child. These include the ability to request custody and visitation and responsibility to pay child support, health care and child-care costs.
There are many complicated situations that California couples can find themselves in regarding divorce and child custody and child support issues. A legal professional who is skilled in family law will help their client understand their rights under California law and make sure they know what their options are. They can help a father establish parentage and make sure they have established visitation and custody of their children. An attorney understands how important fathers are in a child’s life and will make sure their interests are protected.