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Accomplished, Compassionate, and Professional

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Our Attorneys have Hundreds of Satisfied Clients and Success Stories

Orange County Paternity Lawyer

If you are looking for information to determine your child custody rights as an unmarried father or mother, we are here to help. To schedule a no pressure, confidential initial consultation to discuss your options with an experienced attorney at California Family Law Firm, a top paternity law firm in Orange County, call us at 949-503-7200 or send us a message in the form at the bottom of the page. California Family Law Firm represents residents of Southern California for legal services in all paternity issues, including those related to father’s rights, mother’s rights, DNA testing, child custody, visitation rights, child support, domestic violence restraining orders, attorney’s fees and costs, and all other issues related to paternity actions. We are experienced in the legal process of the determination of paternity and can guide you through both high conflict contested paternity actions, uncontested paternity actions, and everything in between. How a case proceeds, the amount of time it takes, and the cost depends on not only you, but also your child’s other parent. You can discuss all paternity issues with your paternity attorney during your initial consultation. You will undoubtedly have questions about your parental rights and paternity case as you proceed, and we are here to help. Oftentimes, the legal process can be frustrating and confusing. Paternity proceedings may come at a time of uncertainty and sometimes instability. An experienced paternity lawyer at our firm will go over every step of the parentage case, from drafting an initial letter to your child’s other parent advising of representation, to drafting and filing of all required paternity forms, to coordinating service of all required documents, to litigation or settlement of all issues.

Domestic Violence Restraining Order

If domestic violence is at issue in your case, whether you are a victim or have been accused, this will often be one of the first issues we address. A family lawyer at California Family Law Firm will protect your rights with strong representation, including a detailed case plan and involved preparation of testimony. A legal finding of domestic violence can have a significant impact on child custody in your case, both on an immediate basis and in the future. We will maintain full transparency throughout the process and treat this issue as seriously as you take it. From the beginning, we will formulate a plan for how to protect you from a legal standpoint, as well as how to keep you protected throughout the process and afterwards.

Legal Rights of Unmarried Parents

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The rights of unmarried parents of a child vary depending on certain factors. The natural mother of a child has automatic custody rights pursuant to Family Code section 7610, whether married or unmarried. However, the biological father does not automatically have parental rights as a presumed parent unless the child’s birth occurred when the parents were married and cohabitating, the mother and father of a child are or were married and the child was born within 300 days of the marriage, the father of a child signs a voluntary declaration of parentage, or the presumed parent receives the child into their home and openly holds out the child as their natural child (See Family Code sections 7540, 7541, 7573, 7611 ). In each of these scenarios, in order to resolves disputes regarding child custody parenting time, legal decision-making authority in the event of disagreements, and child support, establishing paternity must be completed through a legal action filed with the Court. Even if a child was born during marriage, a party signed an acknowledgement of paternity, or was listed on the birth certificate, the alleged father may still petition the Court to challenge paternity, including requesting genetic testing not later than two years after the child’s birth. Additionally, either parent may rescind the voluntary declaration of parentage (also called a voluntary declaration of paternity) within 60 days of signing, as stated in Family Code section 7575. If none of the above apply to someone who believes themselves or the other alleged parent to be the biological father, parentage may only be established through filing a Petition to Determine Parental Relationship with the Court. If a father has filed the Petition and the child’s mother does not believe them to be the legal father, then a paternity test will be ordered by the Court. Similarly, if a child’s mother has filed the Petition and the the alleged father requests the paternity test, the Court will order it. If DNA testing is ordered, all parties will be required to comply with the tests. If a party refuses to comply with the DNA test, they risk being found in contempt of Court. When the test results are received, if the alleged father is found not to be the biological father, in most cases no further action will be taken. However, if the alleged father is determined to be the biological father, the case will proceed to the next steps of determining child custody rights, visitation rights, costs associated with a child’s birth, child support, and attorney’s fees and costs. Be aware that there are exceptions to all of these general rules and an experienced paternity lawyer at California Family Law Firm can help navigate these complicated paternity issues with you.

Attorney’s Fees and Costs

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Attorney’s fees and costs can be a major issue for anyone, no matter which side you are on. We will discuss with you important factors such as disparity of access to funds to retain legal representation, whether one party has the financial ability to pay for the attorney’s fees of the other party, domestic violence if it is relevant, and all other relevant factors. We can also discuss additional options for paying for legal proceedings.

Family Law Case Testimonials

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California Family Law Firm won a contested “move away” trial awarding full custody to a father returning from military service following being stationed overseas for several years in order to move across the country with his children. In another case, a father who was unable to locate his child’s mother retained our office. Through discovery, we were able to locate the child’s mother in another country. We worked with local authorities to have legal papers served through the Hague Process, and won custody rights for our client. An unmarried mother in a domestic violence situation sought our office’s assistance in determining the rights of her children’s alleged father. We successfully assisted her in placing her and the children in a safe location and gaining the custody rights she sought. A client retained our office after learning that a mother alleged that he was the father of a child he was unaware existed for many years. Through negotiation, we reached a mutually agreed settlement between him, the child’s mother, and the mother’s husband, each of whom sought to assert their visitation rights. Our office was retained by a client who had recently discovered that he was not the biological father of the child he had raised as his during his marriage. We advised him of his rights and reached an outcome that he was fully satisfied with. A parent who owned their own business with irregular earnings sought our office’s assistance in reaching settlement for a child support matter, resulting in an amount that they could afford to pay and that the other parent accepted. We have negotiated successful dismissal of numerous cases of restraining order requests against those accused of domestic violence by the other parent in order to gain the upper hand for child custody purposes. At California Family Law Firm, we have litigated virtually every aspect of paternity and realized success on every type of issue, from child custody and child support to litigating contested paternity matters.

Legal Representation You Can Trust

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At California Family Law Firm, we have the many years of experience required to successfully litigate your legal matter. Our law office will help guide you through the often overwhelming legal process of paternity, child custody, and child support to help achieve the Court orders and results that are uniquely tailored to your best interests. We do this through a cost-effective strategy of addressing the most immediate issues in your case first, and then methodically working with you through each remaining step of the legal process. While we will guide you through the legal process during our representation, the information provided in this article provides a great starting point. If you are looking for a paternity lawyer that can strongly represent your interests and protect your rights, who will help you fight back when needed but also be a voice of reason during settlement negotiations, who will be fully prepared for Court hearings and trials, look no further than an experienced lawyer at California Family Law Firm. Our law office is conveniently located in Irvine, although we serve those located throughout Orange County in Irvine, Newport Beach, Anaheim, Santa Ana, Huntington Beach, Garden Grove, Fullerton, Orange, Costa Mesa, Mission Viejo, Westminster, Lake Forest, Buena Park, Tustin, Yorba Linda, Laguna Niguel, San Clemente, La Habra, Fountain Valley, Aliso Viejo, Placentia, Cypress, Rancho Santa Margarita, Brea, Stanton, San Juan Capistrano, Dana Point, Laguna Hills, Seal Beach, Laguna Beach, Laguna Woods, La Palma, Los Alamitos, Villa Park, Anaheim Hills, and all surrounding areas. We also serve those in Los Angeles County, and Riverside County. Strong legal representation near you is not only important, but vital to your case. We are available to schedule a no pressure, confidential initial consultation to discuss your options by either phone, video, or in person. Call us at 949-503-7200 or send us a message in the form below to set up your consultation with an experienced family law paternity attorney at California Family Law Firm. Disclaimer: The information above does not establish an attorney-client relationship and is for informational purposes only. It is not intended as legal advice. There are many factors that might influence or change advice specific to your case following a consultation. Contact California Family Law Firm at 949-503-7200 to speak with an experienced family law attorney in order to obtain legal advice specific to your individual case.

Child Custody and Visitation

Child custody and parenting time is often the first issue after DNA testing that is discussed by those with children in paternity cases. Custody issues related to minor children are often the most important legal matter for parents. Creating a parenting plan that works for you and your family is the most important and immediate issue to address. Your paternity attorney and you will discuss implementing an immediate parenting plan, either through negotiated agreement or Court order after a contested hearing. If the other parent is withholding your children or a danger to them, we will discuss your options for proceeding with an ex parte hearing with you.

Child Support

Child support is often one of the key legal matters that clients are worried about. An experienced paternity lawyer at California Family Law Firm can help guide you through the formulas and factors that the judge will consider in making child support orders. We will discuss your options for when to file for child support, how to respond to a request for child support, how much child support can be expected, when child support is ordered by the judge, and any additional questions that may arise.

Uncontested Paternity Actions

If you and the other parent have no major disagreements as to any significant issues, your case may be able to proceed as an uncontested matter pursuant to a joint agreement with your child’s other parent. However, it is still prudent to retain experienced legal representation to assist you in negotiating fair and equitable orders. An experienced paternity lawyer will guide you through each issue throughout negotiation, assist you in considering common pitfalls of paternity cases, and draft legally enforceable Court orders to give you peace of mind and to protect you should problems ever arise.

Rights of a Military Parent

California Family Law Firm proudly represents current and former members of the United States military. California Family Law Firm will provide you with a family lawyer experienced in reviewing and interpreting your LES, military retirement, or any other form of pay. Additionally, our paternity attorneys have experience with the relevant statutes and case law of how child custody and visitation are affected by military relocation, as well as your custody rights during times you may be required to spend training or stationed overseas, and the rights of your relatives during those periods. Finally, we will help you navigate any child support complications surrounding the effect of the type of income you receive, including VA disability, BAH, BAS, and more.

contact us for legal help

Strong legal representation near you is not only important, but vital to your case. We are available to schedule a no pressure, confidential initial consultation to discuss your options by either phone, video, or in person.

949-503-7200 19200 Von Karman Avenue, Suite 454
Irvine, CA 92612.