Child support is an important resource for any parent, but especially those who were never married to their child’s other parent. Supporting a child in California is expensive, and a single, unwed parent can only bring in so much income on their own.
This is why unmarried parents – particularly mothers – often decide to sue their child’s biological father for child support, but paternity is an obstacle they’ll have to overcome.
Only Legal Paternity Confers Responsibility for a Child
In California, only a child’s legal father can be required to pay child support. Note that a child’s legal father and biological father are often the same person, but that’s not always the case.
A legal father is someone whom a court granted paternity to a child, which can happen with or without DNA evidence. It can also happen when a child is born into a marriage, even if the child isn’t biologically related to the father. A child’s biological father is the person with whom the child shares DNA, and may or may not be the child’s legal father.
Establishing paternity matters because until this is done, a child born out of wedlock legally doesn’t have a father, and no man is obligated to support the child unless his paternity is established. Likewise, no man has legal custody or visitation rights to that child and must establish paternity to seek these rights.
Contact Us for Legal Assistance
If you need legal assistance with a paternity-related matter, reach out to Claery & Hammond, LLP today! Our attorneys are steadfast advocates for our clients and can help you pursue your interests and achieve your goals.
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