4 Paternity Questions for California Dads

What if my former spouse and I were married when we had our child? Do I need to establish paternity?

If you and your former spouse were married when your child arrived, the state of California believes both parents are the legal parents of the child. This means that if biologically the child is not yours, you are still presumed the legal father.

I had an affair and impregnated a married woman. Now, she and her husband have my baby. Is it possible for me to have parental rights to my child?

It may take a little bit of work, but you can file to have parental rights to your child. In order to get parental rights, you need to file a request for a paternity test through the court. Paternity is based off there being a parent and child relationship. This means that it is done on a case by case basis. Please feel free to talk to us about the specifics of your case and we will be glad to help you determine your rights.

My wife got pregnant from an affair. We decided to work through our issues, stay together, and raise the baby. Now, we’re getting a divorce. Although I’m sure my daughter isn’t genetically mine, I still feel like her dad and want to be part of her life. Is that possible? Do I have any rights?

Yes, it is absolutely possible for you to keep your relationship with your daughter. In the eyes of the California court, this daughter is legally yours. Paternity is based on there being a parent and child relationship. Biological relationship is not necessary for being a parent under California. This means that it is a case by case basis, but if you have been involved in your daughter’s life, you most likely have rights to be her father despite not being genetically related. Please keep in mind that there are separate rules for adoption and surrogacy.

Do you have more California paternity questions?

At Fenchel Family Law, we are happy to answer any of your questions about California paternity issues. Whether you’re still trying to figure out what you should do or if you already know you need to file a petition, we can help. Give us a call today at (415) 805-9069 or contact us online.