Across the state, the biological parents of a child have a legal right to establish a relationship with the child. These rights can often be enforced by the state, especially when there is a dispute between the two parents. While the law will generally favor both parents to have an equal right to a relationship with the minor, there are certain limitations. For instance, upon divorce or separation, a family court can rule that one of the parents is more suitable for the child, ultimately granting that parent with the child’s full custodial rights.
The Importance of a Paternal Figure in a Minor’s Life
For many years, the mother of a child has been seen as the most prevalent figure in a child’s life. This unfortunately often places the father as secondary to a child’s upbringing. In many cases, it can often be overlooked that the father’s role in a child’s life can be better suited for the child as opposed to the mother.
According to research collected by the National Responsible Fatherhood Clearinghouse, involved paternal figures play a significant role when it comes to the performance of a child’s education. Overall collective studies indicate that paternal figures should be considered effective caregivers as devoted fathers have the potential to have a profound effect on a minor’s upbringing and development. Consequently, father figures should be seen as more than a financial provider, as supportive fathers are shown to have a positive influence on a minor’s life.
The Importance of Establishing Paternity
Establishing paternity can be beneficial not only for a child but for the father as well. Some of the most common scenarios involve the following:
- A father who wants primary custody of the minor,
- A father who can share military benefits to the child,
- The willingness to provide health insurance to the child,
- A minor who is a dependent of the father,
- A father who wants to obtain regular and constant visitation with a child,
- A father who wishes to establish child support, or
- Writing a will that could leave the child with inheritance or establishing a succession line for probate requirements.
Different Methods of Establishing Paternity in the State of California
When a person wishes to establish the paternity of a child, this generally refers to a legal appointment of a father figure to the child. This can be done through the means of consent from the child’s biological parents or through the government.
For the most part, one of the simplest forms of establishing paternity is by means signing a voluntary declaration of paternity. This form will typically be provided in a hospital setting at the time of birth and can be signed by both parents. After the form has been signed, the parents acknowledge paternity and the father figure’s name is legally placed on the child’s birth certificate. Upon the completion of the form, the father figure is legally responsible for the child and thus assumes all paternal rights.
Another method of establishing paternity is by means of petitioning through a family court. The following parties can ask a California court for a paternity order:
- The minor’s mother,
- A person who has reason to believe that he is the child’s father,
- A person who has been identified as the potential father of the child,
- An agency providing support services to the child’s mother, or
- A child adoption agency wishing to place the child under adoption
When It Comes to Father’s Rights, Seek Legal Support
Traditionally, many cases have witnessed a mother be given priority to the custody of a child but modern rulings have seen the contrary. More recent cases demonstrate that a father is sometimes deemed more suitable to obtain full custodial rights. Conclusively, a family court judge will rule on which parent is deemed to be in the best interest of the child.
If you or someone you know has questions or concerns regarding establishing the paternal rights of a child, it is vital to seek the legal support of an experienced family law attorney. An attorney with the right experience can help to provide the answers you need in effort of establishing father’s rights.
The attorneys at the RM Law Group, LLC, are highly skilled in the field of father’s rights in paternity cases. The law firm is dedicated to advocate for the rights of paternal figures. Family-related issues can be stressful, not only for the parents involved but for the child as well; seek the support of a knowledgeable team of attorneys to help bring your family ease.