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  • Writer's pictureGenoveva Meza Talbott

Parentage: What is it and Why it’s Important

It's important for the child and the parents.

If a baby is born to a married couple in the state of California, the court will automatically assume that the husband is the father of the child unless it is brought into question during the child’s first two years of life. When the parents of a child are not married, a court must make a legal decision to determine a child’s legal parents. This is a Parentage case. In the event that the potential father has been living with a child in the household and shown responsible actions and commitments, he may be assumed to be the father. If this is not the case, a paternity test will need to be filed for the court to recognize his parentage and give court orders for support, custody and/or visitation. Regardless of the situation, the potential father may still wish to get a paternity test to make sure he is the parent. In the state of California, the biological father of a child has rights and responsibilities to the child no matter his relationship to the mother. Once parentage is established, the court can make orders for child support, health insurance, child custody, visitation, name change, and reimbursement of pregnancy and birth expenses. Without establishing parentage, the court cannot make orders regarding these issues. While establishing parentage is important for parents, it is equally important for the child. Established parentage will provide a child with financial support from both parents, access to family records and medical history, and the right to inherit from either parent. If you need assistance in working out your parentage situation, give us a call. We are happy to help!

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