Long Beach Same-Sex Couples and Paternity Lawyers
Ending a Same-Sex Partnership
Now that same-sex marriage is observed under the law of the state of California, same-sex divorce became an area of legal practice for well informed divorce attorneys.
The Domestic Partner Rights and Responsibilities Act of 2003 has been in effect in California On January 1, 2005. It states that couples who register their domestic partnerships in the Golden State are afforded similar, but not all the same, rights and responsibilities to those available to traditional married couples whose marriages were registered with the State.
Getting a Domestic Partnership Registered
A handful of situations involve establishing a union, such as registering a domestic partnership or making certain your partner is included in your final will and testament. Other circumstances can arise when a same-sex, domestic partnership needs to be dissolved, like sharing out community property and making choices regarding custody of a child or children.
An attorney in this field who is well informed would be able to help you with the following:
- Creating a registered domestic partnership
- Divorce for same-sex partners that were lawfully joined in California
- Dissolving a domestic partnership
- Distribution of marital/partnership community property and liabilities
- Child custody and visitation arrangements
- Court orders for child support
- Court orders for spousal support
- Modification of any court orders for child custody, visitation and child support
Should you presently be in a civil union, are interested in forming a registered domestic partnership or you have come to a conclusion to bring your relationship to an end, a top notch lawyer can assist you in getting through every step of this potentially challenging process.
Paternity: A Complex Matter
From the era of in-your-face daytime talk shows came the popular notion that a DNA blood test is the only necessary act towards establishing whether a man is the father of a child. In actuality, legal paternity can be a complex matter. Genetic testing is certainly an important determinant. Nevertheless, the genetic testing needs to meet established criteria to be deemed conclusive or be admitted and accepted as evidence in a paternity case in a court of law. You might be able to get yourself a test in a mobile DNA testing unit on a street corner in New York City. They probably provide reliable results for less than three hundred dollars, but a California Family Court would be reluctant to accept a paternity test done in a mobile home. The customary, and certainly reasonable, expectation is that the facility that conducts the genetic test to be used as evidence in a paternity case is a court-approved laboratory, or one that has the requisite accreditation from the state agencies designated by the US Department of Health and Human Services.
In actual fact, legal cases surrounding paternity can be rather complex. A presumed father of a child has the protection of the US Constitution on his side. His constitutional rights allow him to present his side of the parenting story to a judge in the family court system. That fact notwithstanding, it is important to understand that in the state of California, when you sign a voluntary paternity declaration, you legally designate yourself as the father of that child. The paternity declaration is normally signed at the time of a child’s birth. Essentially, by signing, you have committed an act that signifies a forfeiture of your right to later deny your paternity. Because of this, paternity legislation potentially implicates constitutional due process matters.
Petitioning For a Voluntary Paternity Declaration to be Legally Invalidated or Rescinded
It is possible for you to have a voluntary paternity declaration rescinded, if that request to have this done is filed within 60 days of signing the declaration. The court could rule to invalidate the declaration after more time than that has gone by in some scenarios. If the irrefutable results of a DNA test are presented to the court, for example, those results can be clear evidence to support ruling a paternity declaration invalid. Be that as it may, it is certainly worth stating that family court judges are legally obligated to bring a combination of factors under consideration before entering a verdict on any paternity case. In their choice of which one should be overruled – the paternity declaration that was signed by the presumed father or the results of a genetic test – the courts will have to also take the best interest of the child into account. Additionally, the possibility that there exists a bond between the child and the biological father is a pertinent factor that judges are obligated to account for.
Paternity in Long Beach: The Legal Presumptions
There are some specific scenarios under which paternity might be legally presumed according to the Family Code of the state of California:
In California, if a husband lives with his lawfully wedded wife, it is a rebuttable presumption that he is the father of the children she gives birth to under wedlock. The exception to this presumption lies in scenarios where a husband may be sterile or impotent.
Also worthy of note is the reality that, according to the Uniform Parentage Act, paternity is presumed for any children who are born within 300 days of a finalized divorce, attempted marriage, or cohabitation.
The Uniform Parentage Act outlines several other situations that shift the presumption in favor of paternity. In scenarios where the presumed father weds the mother after the birth of her child, for instance, and he permits the mother to name him on the child’s birth certificate, then he is presumed to be the biological father of that baby.
Voluntary paternity declarations are more honored – and inflict more of an impact – than any presumption in and of itself. If a declaration is upheld in court, it wields the same authority as a court judgment. Because of this, a voluntary paternity declaration can be used as a determining document to justify court orders for child support and child custody, except if that declaration is legally disputed and gets rescinded by a judge.
In the case of the “voluntary paternity declaration”, where the legislation is concerned, this declaration is much more than a simple written statement. The attached obligation put forth in the California Family Code, among other related laws, is that this voluntary paternity declaration be correctly documented, and it needs to be signed by the parents of the child in the presence of witnesses. Employees at the hospital or birthing center where the birth took place can witness. Alternatively, a notary public can be your witnesses to the signing. A proper voluntary declaration of paternity is completed on a form that is available from Child Support Services.
All that said, the aim of these requirements is not that the words and actions of a parent or alleged parent should be belittled. On the contrary, any assertions made by the alleged father must be taken into serious consideration in establishing the parenthood presumption, especially in the absence of required documentation. That fact notwithstanding, California law necessitates not only that the man who is presumed to be the father “holds out the child as his” to those around him, but that additionally, he embraces the children as members of his own household.
Genetic DNA tests can be used to challenge paternity presumption, provided that the test and petition are entered in the court within the statute of limitations.
Can A Judge Reject a DNA Test in a Paternity Case?
There are some situations in which a blood test cannot change a paternity ruling: For instance, if a baby was artificially conceived, and the father consented to it, he cannot later show up in court with a blood test and refute his paternity.
How You Can File a Paternity Petition
Because a paternity verdict could have such far reaching implications, with regards to inheritance, for instance, the legislation is created to set strict limits on who has the legal right to bring an action to court to obtain a parenthood declaration. The law also details the steps such persons would have to take to accomplish it, and at what points in time they would be able to accomplish it.
In the State of California, the legislation only allows certain people the right to file a lawsuit to establish (or to disprove) a legal parent-child connection. In matters in which there already exists a presumption in favor of fatherhood, for example, when the baby was born in wedlock, the only people who have the right to bring an action for declaration of paternity are:
- the child in question,
- Authorized persons from an adoption agency, or
- a possible adoptive mother or father at any time.
The right to bring a suit is referred to as “standing.”
The Child Support Services unit also could file suit to establish paternity.
If a person or a public institution incurred expenses in relation to:
- Financial upkeep, or
- funeral arrangements for the child,
they could be other parties interested in enforcing parental obligations as a step in the proceeding for the determination of paternity. The law provides individuals the right to bring a suit against any and all concerned parties, which would certainly include the parties named in an assisted reproduction agreement.
Statute of Limitation on Paternity Declaration
The way in which timing is applied in the matter of a paternity declaration goes as follows.
A paternity lawsuit can be filed from before the birth of the baby. The man who is alleged to be the father in an official judgment then has a two year timeframe to see that such judgment be overturned.
The two-year statute of limitations starts on the day the notice of paternity is served on the alleged parent. After the two years is over, even in the event that a genetic test disproves paternity, the court’s ruling will stand. Furthermore, if the ruling was handed down by a judge in a different state, the California family court is obligated to enforce it, thereby giving that judgement full faith.
California’s Jurisdiction: Paternity
What gives the California courts jurisdiction in ruling on paternity cases is whether the conception of the child was, whether natural or artificial, within the borders of the Golden State. Certainly, the courts can employ other means by which to establish jurisdiction, but this thought process in particular underlines the intimate nature of the particulars that have to be disclosed during paternity proceedings. To protect privacy, the proceedings can be conducted in a closed courtroom.
If you are faced with a matter related to a paternity declaration, you need to bring in the services of a well informed Long Beach paternity lawyer who can make sure that your rights are upheld whether your goal is to establish fatherhood or deny it.