At Ashley A. Andrews, APC, our legal team understands how complicated paternity cases can be. Our knowledgeable and experienced staff is available to help you understand your rights and answer any questions that may arise regarding paternity in California.

What is an Unfit Parent in California?

In California, the law defines an unfit parent as one who does not provide for the basic needs of a child such as housing, food, education or health care. In extreme cases, an unfit parent may have a history of criminal convictions, abuse or neglect of the child, drug use, or other dangerous behavior that could cause harm to the child.

Establishing Paternity

Paternity is established through the courts and through a paternity test administered by a qualified laboratory technician. When establishing paternity in court, both parties must attend court hearings and answer questions from the judge about their relationship with the child and whether they believe themselves to be the father. A final determination of paternity will be made at the end of these proceedings.

Paternity Tests

A paternity test uses DNA collected from both parents to determine if they are related. A DNA sample is usually taken through a cheek swab procedure performed by a qualified lab technician or other medical professional. In some cases, results can be obtained within two weeks after the samples are collected.

Can a Mother Refuse a Paternity Test in California?

Yes. Mothers have the right to refuse to take part in a paternity test and must agree before any tests are done. However, if it appears that there is sufficient evidence to show that paternity is being disputed between two individuals in court proceedings, either party may request that testing takes place.

How Long Does a Father Have to Establish Paternity in California?

*Time limit may vary depending on circumstances

Generally speaking, there is no specific time limit for establishing paternity in California but fathers are encouraged to act quickly after learning about possible biological relationships with children in order to protect their parental rights under law. In certain cases where accusations have been made by either party against each other (for example during divorce proceedings) the court may order either party to take action towards establishing legal parenthood within a certain period of time as dictated by state law.

At Ashley A. Andrews, APC we understand that navigating legal matters pertaining to parenting can be confusing and intimidating which is why our knowledgeable staff members are ready and willing to provide support every step of the way! If you need more information regarding paternity matters in California please do not hesitate to contact us today so that we can discuss your case further!

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This material is provided for educational purposes only. Providing this information does not establish an attorney/client relationship. None of the information contained in this blog should be acted upon without first consulting with an attorney. Should you have questions about the content of this blog, please arrange to discuss via a consultation.