Establishing Paternity through the Legal System

Establishing Paternity through the Legal System

Establishing Paternity through the Legal System

There are many instances in which the parentage of a child is important. Most people assume that paternity is established when a child wishes to know who their biological parents are, but there are situations in the law when the parents have to establish their paternity for some sort of resulting benefit. While paternity (and establishing it) can be a complex process both emotionally and legally, this article will provide just a brief overview of the concept.

Why parentage is important

When two people are married to each other and they have a child, the law assumes that both individuals are the legal parents of the child. However, if a child is born to two partners who are not married or some other circumstances, the law does not assume the parentage. Instead, it has to be established. A child or parent may seek to establish parentage for reasons including health insurance coverage, estate planning, financial benefits, and many more.

Who is the parent and how do you establish it?

In California, there are certain cases when the law presumes the parentage of the child. As mentioned above, when a child is born while the parents are married, the law assumes those two spouses are the legal parents. Furthermore, paternity can also be assumed when the parent has their name on the child’s birth certificate or has always considered the child to be their own. Outside of these legal assumptions, paternity can be proven through a declaration, court order, or DNA test results.


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