Unwed Parents And Their Rights
The following article will cover:
- Parental and custody rights for unwed biological parents of a child born in California,
- The legal options for establishing paternity in California, and
- The importance of notarizing and registering the VDOP with a local agency, and the potential for a paternity test if paternity is contested.
What Are The Parental And Custody Rights Of Unwed Biological Parents Of A Child Born In California?
In California, mothers automatically have parental rights, as their names are on their birth certificates. For unwed fathers, there are various stages to establish or contest paternity, which will grant or deny them parental rights. Fathers can sign a Voluntary Declaration of Paternity (VDOP) at the hospital when the child is born or later if both parents agree. If a VDOP is signed, both parents have equal rights regarding custody, visitation, and child support.
If the VDOP is not signed, either parent can open a parentage case in family court to establish parental rights. The court may order a paternity test if the alleged father contests paternity or the mother insists on establishing the father’s obligations. If the paternity test confirms parentage, the father gains both rights and responsibilities, such as custody, visitation, and child support obligations.
How Can The Father Establish Paternity In California?
A father can establish paternity in California by signing a Voluntary Declaration of Paternity at the hospital or later, with both parents’ agreement. The form must be notarized and registered with a local agency. Alternatively, either parent can file a parentage case in family court to establish paternity through the legal system.
With the guidance of a skilled attorney for Family Law, you can have the peace of mind that comes with knowing that we’ll make it look easy. For more information on Family Law in California, a free initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (408) 909-4586 today.