How to Choose the Best Paternity Lawyer in San Diego
Today, since over 40% of children in the United States are born to unwed parents, establishing paternity is an important issue. This must be done through a legal process, which is governed by state law. In California, paternity can be established through several means. If you need to establish paternity for your child, whether you are a mother who needs support or a father who wants to secure parental rights or receive child support, you may need the assistance of a qualified attorney. But how do you find the best San Diego paternity lawyer for you?
Legal paternity has several important implications. The father bears legally enforceable responsibilities, including providing financial support. But there are other obligations, as well as privileges, that go with paternity, including the right to custody or visitation, the right to make decisions about a child’s upbringing, and so on. In some cases, the biological fathers of children will willingly step forward to accept parental responsibilities, or even fight for paternal rights. In other cases, unwed mothers may need to file paternity proceedings to compel a biological father to undertake a supportive role.Finding the Best Paternity Attorney in San Diego for Your Case
In the absence of personally knowing any attorneys, the natural place to begin searching is the internet. Even when you do get a personal recommendation, however, it is a good idea to find out more about the attorney who has been recommended to you. You should be careful to make sure that they are the right fit.
Unfortunately, internet searches usually provide an overwhelming number of “hits.” And sometimes, the information that you find can be deceiving. For example, many websites that purport to rate or recommend attorneys are basically advertising sites for attorneys rather than impartial rating services. Consequently, you should invest some time and effort into your research. Some factors to consider that may help you make the right choice include experience in paternity cases, positive client testimonials and reviews, and the willingness to offer you a free consultation.
Experience: Find an attorney who handles paternity cases—not just one who “can do” paternity cases. Paternity cases fall under the umbrella of family law and family court, but not all family law attorneys have handled many paternity cases. The best San Diego paternity attorneys will specifically handle paternity cases, discuss paternity issues on their websites, and have represented clients in paternity cases in San Diego Family Law Court.
Testimonials: Naturally, a law firm’s website is going to feature only those client testimonials that offer glowing reviews. Nonetheless, read them and note what the clients say, focusing on whether the positives that they mention are things that matter to you, such as how promptly the attorney answers calls, how well the attorney communicates, the type of outcome that they obtained, and so on. In addition, look at whether the attorney has favorable ratings from neutral third parties, including reputable legal organizations such as Justia, Avvo, or Martindale-Hubbell.
Free consultations: An attorney who offers a free consultation is basically inviting you to take a “test drive,” which indicates a certain level of confidence in his or her ability to help you. But do not use the consultation only to obtain help. Recognize that it is also an opportunity to interview the attorney. Paternity cases are very personal, and you need an attorney with whom you feel comfortable. Do not feel hesitant about interviewing several attorneys if the first one does not immediately earn your trust and confidence.Consult a Paternity Lawyer at Doppelt & Forney
The attorneys at Doppelt & Forney have over six decades of combined experience in handling family law matters, including paternity proceedings. If you would like a free consultation to find out if we might be the best paternity lawyers in the San Diego area for you, call us toll-free at 800.769.4748 or use our online form. We proudly serve people throughout San Diego County, including residents of Carlsbad, Escondido, Rancho Santa Fe, El Cajon, La Mesa, La Jolla, Ramona, Oceanside, Point Loma, Coronado, Chula Vista, Encinitas, and other communities.