When it comes to declaring paternity, we all know that it can be a very complicated matter. In case you’re not too familiar with what it means, here’s a reminder. Declaring paternity means both unmarried parents are legal parents of the child. It’s also important to know that signing a Declaration of Paternity is completely voluntary. So when can parents sign a declaration? They can sign it when the child is first born at the hospital. When this happens, both parent’s names will go on the child’s birth certificate. Regarding the birth mother, she doesn’t need to go to court to prove who the other parent of the child is. Let’s talk more about what it’s like to declare paternity in California.
What’s The Process Like If You Want To Declare Paternity In California?
If you want to declare paternity in California, you must sign it at a public agency. This is mandatory. Another option is to have it witnessed by a notary public. There are occasions when a hospital will sign the declaration of paternity. Most of the public agencies that allow you to declare paternity will have a short video. What’s the video about? Well, it explains how the voluntary Declaration of Paternity process works. The forms are available in both English and Spanish.
Once it’s signed, the form must then be filed with the California Department of Child Support Services. For the Declaration of Paternity to be effective, it has to be properly signed. It needs to have the same effect as a court order that established parentage for the child, even without anyone needing to show up in court
But you don’t need to sign the declaration right away. If you want, you can sign it later too. If a parent tries to declare paternity in California and signs after the child’s birth certificate has been issued, a new and updated certificate can be issued with the other parent’s name. What happens after filing a signed Declaration of Paternity in court? Well, then the judge can start to specify specific orders. This includes orders of custody, support, and visitation
Mistakes And Things You Need To Know.
It is very common to face mistakes along the way if you don’t have the proper knowledge of what it’s like to declare paternity. It’s essential to know that once you declare paternity, it can be nearly impossible to reverse. This is even if DNA or blood tests years later show that the father isn’t the biological parent of the child. You must know that after you declare paternity in California, each parent has an equal right to custody of the child. They both also have the same responsibility to support the child!
Support issues can be complicated. But what happens if the parent doesn’t meet the responsibilities? If they fail to support the child, the custodial parent, guardian, and even a local child support agency can ask the court to enforce support orders. The judge can fine a parent up to $1,000. They can even face five days in jail for each violation!
It’s also important to know what happens in certain unique situations. For example, what happens if your child doesn’t live with you and a court action is filed? In this case, you may be ordered to pay child support! To deal with issues of visitation, custody, and child support, a court action must be filed. Told you it gets complicated
What Rights Do You Give Up When Declaring Paternity?
If you declare paternity in California, it’s important to know what rights you’re giving up. You are giving up the right to DNA and blood tests, trials in court to decide parentage issues, and notice of any hearing on the issue. Also, you are also giving up the right to the opportunity to present your case, and any lawyer representing you.
You may be asking yourself, “Could I change my mind after I sign a Declaration of Paternity?” The answer is yes. But it starts by completing something called a “Declaration of Paternity Rescission.” You must file this form with the Department of Child Support Services within 60 days from the date you signed the Declaration of Paternity. All it takes is one parent to sign and file the form. The other parent must be notified by certified email with return receipt requested. You can also challenge the Declaration of Paternity in court, as long as it happens within the first 2 years after the child’s birth.
Talk To Someone Today.
Support and parentage issues can be complicated, but our team is here to help you every step of the way. If you, or anyone you know, have any questions about declaring paternity in California, don’t hesitate to talk to someone today here.