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San Diego Paternity Lawyer

Establishing Parentage & Legal Parental Rights

In order for a father to exercise his parental rights, paternity must be established. Mothers also need to establish paternity of their child if they wish to receive child support. If you are facing a complex paternity case, you need the assistance of a knowledgeable lawyer.

Our experienced paternity case lawyer in San Diego can help you determine when and how to move forward. At Embry Family Law P.C., we help clients establish parentage for the benefit of the mother, father, and child.

Please contact us by calling (619) 485-6476 to schedule a consultation.

Parentage in California

When parents are married and a child is born, the husband is presumed to be the father. In addition, when they have lived together as a family and the man has demonstrated a commitment to the child, the man is presumed to be the father of the child. Only after parentage is established can the father seek custody rights.

Options for Establishing Paternity

There are two basic ways to establish paternity, either voluntarily or by court order. The easiest way to establish paternity is for both parents to sign a Voluntary Declaration of Paternity. This form is a legal acknowledgment by both parents that the man is the legal father of the child. If both parents do not agree, a paternity action can be filed in court and genetic testing may be ordered.

A paternity order may be requested by:

  • The mother of the child
  • A man who believes he is the father, also known as the alleged or putative father
  • An adoption agency
  • A local child support agency

Genetic testing may be required to determine the biological father for the purposes of child support, in connection with the mother’s request for public benefits, or when the father wants to be recognized and have parental rights and responsibilities. Establishing paternity offers a variety of benefits to the mother, father, and child. Whether you are the mother or alleged father, it can be helpful to have a San Diego paternity lawyer by your side to guide you through the legal process.

How to Get a Court-Ordered Paternity Test in California

If either parent is unwilling to sign a Voluntary Declaration of Paternity, you will need to get a court-ordered paternity test. The process for getting a paternity test in California is as follows:

  1. Hire an attorney to represent you; this can help accelerate the legal process and help you determine paternity sooner
  2. Your attorney will help you file a petition with the court and serve a summons to the other party, requiring them to respond to the petition
  3. The court will set a hearing date where they will determine whether a trial will occur or if the case will be dismissed
  4. The court may then require the alleged father, the mother, and the child to undergo DNA testing to determine paternity

For court-ordered paternity tests in California, the courts will not accept privately conducted DNA tests, or at-home paternity tests. After the court orders for genetic testing to be conducted, they will then provide both parties with information on how to get a paternity test that is admissible in court. If you need help figuring out how to get a paternity test in California, our attorneys at Embry Family Law P.C. are here to guide you through the process.

Get advice that is specific to your situation in a consultation. Contact us by calling (619) 485-6476 to arrange an appointment. 

Our Clients Share Their Stories

  • "If ever I were to need legal assistance again, I wouldn't think twice about hiring them to work on my case again, as I know I'm in the best hands possible."
    The team at Embry Law was extremely efficient and professional. Constantly checking in with me and informing me of any changes and updates on my case. If ever I were to need legal assistance again, I wouldn't think twice about hiring them to work on my case again, as I know I'm in the best hands possible. I am forever thankful.
    - Daniella R. (Facebook Review)
  • "I would recommend Embry Family Law to anyone!"
    Working with Ben Embry was great. He's very professional, responsive, and was always available to answer any questions I had. His team is also amazing and made me feel comfortable throughout the entire process. I would recommend Embry Family Law to anyone!
    - Alyssa D. (Google Review)
  • "Thank you Nicholas -- your team and clients are lucky to have you."
    It had been a long two years of waiting and frustrations in the hands of my previous lawyer to get the legal closure I needed to move forward with my post-divorce life. As anyone going through divorce knows, nothing about it is easy or enjoyable ... that is until I met Nicholas Montaño. As office manager and head paralegal at Embry Family Law, Nicholas took my call and ran with it. From the get-go, I felt supported and that I was in capable hands. Within a few weeks, I was happily divorced and all was finalized, even sooner than the court date assigned to my case. Throughout our [thankfully] short time working together, he showed compassion, empathy, and understanding. And I especially appreciated his effective and efficient communication, and willingness to go above and beyond with sensitivity to time. Thank you Nicholas -- your team and clients are lucky to have you.
    - Kathy D. (Google Review)
  • "I am forever grateful to them and definitely will be recommending Embry Family Law to ALL my family and friends."
    This review is long overdue, I want to thank Nick, Kaylin, and Ben for taking on my difficult case and representing me. I had consulted with others who only planted fear and made me lose hope. Thanks to a fellow coworker who recommended them to me, I won my case and had the best representation! I am forever grateful to them and definitely will be recommending Embry Family Law to ALL my family and friends.
    - Ileana S. (Google Review)

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      Our attorney has been certified by passing the appropriate written examination in Family Law, demonstrated a high level of experience in Family Law, fulfilled ongoing education requirements and has been favorably evaluated by other attorneys and judges familiar with his work.