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Paternity lawsuits are cases in which an individual seeks to legally establish the fatherhood of a child. Legal paternity establishes a number of rights and obligations, including the duty to pay support, the right to make decisions about the child’s welfare and upbringing, and so on. Often, individuals who bring paternity suits may be focused on only one or two aspects—for example, the need for child support, the right to inherit, or the right to obtain custody or visitation rights. However, anyone pursuing a paternity case should understand the full legal ramifications of establishing paternity, and we can help. The San Diego paternity lawyers at Doppelt & Forney offer a free in-person or virtual consultation to help people understand the process as well as the legal and practical implications of establishing paternity.Take Advantage of a Free In-person or virtual Consultation to Find Out About Paternity Law
Today, there are often questions about the paternity of a child; in the United States, over 40% of all children are born to mothers who are not married to the child’s father.
When a woman is married, her spouse is always presumed legally to be the father of her natural children. When the mother is unmarried, generally there is no presumption about paternity.
If both parents agree, they can establish paternity voluntarily through a Voluntary Declaration of Paternity (VDP). In the absence of a VDP, paternity will need to be established through a legal process called a paternity suit.
Paternity cases, also called “parentage” cases, can be brought by a father wishing to assert parental rights. Sometimes the mother will bring a paternity action, often to obtain financial support for the child. A public agency providing support can also bring an action. Also, if a child is put up for adoption, a prospective adoptive parent or the agency handling the adoption may bring an action in order to prevent legal challenges in the future by a person claiming to be the father.
As these details suggest, paternity actions involve a thorough investigation into the facts of each situation. Given the seriousness and the long-term and very personal implications of establishing paternity, it is important to obtain sound legal advice and assistance from an attorney when pursuing or defending a paternity case. Many attorneys will strongly advise for an unmarried father to demand a DNA test before agreeing to paternity, and an attorney can assist with the process.
If you are involved in a paternity case, a free in-person or virtual consultation with an experienced attorney is one of the best steps that you can take, and you should take it as soon as possible. Simply researching information through the internet is inadequate. While there is some good general legal information available, you will have a difficult time sifting out the information that is useful from the information that is not relevant unless you have a legal education, training, and experience in this complex area of San Diego law.
Each case is different, and the outcome of yours will depend on the specific facts. By talking to a paternity lawyer face to face, you can get a better feel for how your own case is likely to proceed. In addition to that, an attorney can explain how his or her services will provide you with an advantage. By making use of a free in-person or virtual consultation, you can interview any prospective attorneys to find out whether hiring a lawyer is the right option for you and decide which lawyer you should hire.Contact the San Diego Attorneys at Doppelt & Forney to Discuss Your Options
At Doppelt & Forney, we offer free in-person or virtual consultations because we are confident that, once you talk to one of our paternity lawyers, you will be convinced of our ability to help you in significant ways. Call 800.769.4748 or use our online form to make your appointment. We welcome clients from throughout the San Diego metropolitan area, including San Diego, Chula Vista, Del Mar, Vista, Coronado, Carlsbad, Encinitas, La Mesa, Ramon, El Cajon, and nearby communities.