Basic Paternity Rules in California

Father CustodyEstablishing Paternity

When a woman gives birth to a child, California law automatically recognizes that woman as the mother of the child. If the woman is married and living with her spouse, then her husband is recognized as the child’s father. However, if the two parties are not married, then the law only recognizes the father if paternity is legally established. Establishing paternity grants the child all the benefits and rights of children born to parents that are married, and can be very important for the child if the parents become separated, divorced, or were never married in the first place, especially if the father is interested in retaining proper custody and visitation rights. Also, establishing paternity allows the child to be legally entitled to child support during the father’s life and possibly inheritance or other death benefit upon the father’s death. Establishing paternity benefits the child in a number of ways.  Children are entitled to have legal proof of both parents’ identities, family medical records in case of an inherited condition, life or medical insurance if the parents have it, and financial support from both parents. At the Law Offices of Judy L. Burger, we will actively pursue the best strategy to achieve the best possible outcome for you and your child in legal family matters.  Judy L. Burger is known for her tenacious representation of clients in high conflict cases in and around the San Francisco Bay and Sacramento areas.  If you are a parent facing a divorce, custody dispute, or other family law issue, call us today to learn more about how we can help.  Call (415)293-8314 in the San Francisco Bay area or (916)631-1935 in the Sacramento area, or contact us online via our confidential inquiry form.

Notifying the Other Birth Parent of an Adoption

iStock_girl w sunflowerAdopting a stepchild or domestic partner’s child is a fairly common milestone for many families.  Adoption has the effect of uniting a family while legally terminating the parental rights of a birth parent who has little or no involvement in the child’s life. In many cases, the uninvolved birth parent will consent to an adoption. It is also possible to carry out an adoption without his or her consent. Allowing an adoption without a parent’s consent is a serious matter, so a court will not proceed until the uninvolved birth parent has had a chance to present his or her objections. If possible, one way to speed up an adoption case is to get the uninvolved birth parent’s written consent to the adoption. If written consent is not possible, then the prospective adoptive parent must locate the uninvolved birth parent and provide a last known address to the court. If the uninvolved birth parent cannot be located, the prospective adoptive parent must convince the court that he or she made a good faith effort to find the uninvolved parent and notify him or her of the adoption proceedings. A stepparent or domestic partner adoption should be a joyful time for your family. Talk to an attorney experienced in California family law to help make sure the process goes as smoothly as possible, without any unexpected surprises along the way. Judy L. Burger is an experienced California family law attorney serving the San Francisco Bay area and Sacramento area.  If your family is considering an adoption, call us today to learn more about how we can help.  Call (415)293-8314 in the San Francisco Bay area or (916)631-1935 in the Sacramento area, or contact us online via our confidential inquiry form.