Guidance from Our Family Lawyers in Oceanside
Paternity matters can be extremely contentious and emotional. Whether you are disputing paternity or seeking parental rights of a child, Fischer & Van Thiel, LLP can help. Read our FAQ below to answer questions you may encounter as you navigate your case.
If you do not see your question listed below, reach out to us at (760) 621-7101 and we would be happy to help.
Can I choose to give up my rights as father?
Question: I am thinking about giving up my rights to my children. What consequences would I face if I wanted to do so? Would I still be required to pay child support?
Answer: You cannot give up your rights as a father to get out of your obligation to pay child support. However, there are limited circumstances where the child can be adopted, at which point one would no longer have to pay support since they are no longer the legal parent of that child. The primary question is do you really want to give up all rights to your child and secondly, is there someone else willing to step in to adopt the child and assume the financial obligations that go along with supporting the child.
Can someone try to get me to pay child support without a DNA test?
Question: I met a girl a while ago and we made out a few times but did nothing more (no intercourse). Suddenly, I start receiving calls from a child support office claiming that I am the father of this girl’s child and have to pay child support for her baby. Can they make me pay without a DNA test that proves I am the father of the child? Do I need an attorney to represent me in court?
Answer: While you do not have to have an attorney represent you in court, it would definitely be beneficial given the complexity of your case. If you failed to respond to a complaint regarding this matter, you may have been defaulted and no DNA test would have been required. If you were never served with a complaint, then you should request a DNA test as soon as possible.
Can I deny visitation even though we have no child custody agreement?
Question: Me and my ex-boyfriend have no legal custody agreement for our four month old. I am the custodial parent, and he signed the birth certificate and now wants a DNA test. Can I deny him visitation, and if I do will it reflect badly on me in court later?
Answer: If there is no custody/visitation order in place, then visitation should be agreed upon by both parties. The court looks at the “best interest” of the child when making custody/visitation orders. Therefore, if you are going to deny him visitation, you should have a good reason or else it will reflect badly upon you in court. You should help facilitate contact between both your child and the child’s father. You should file a motion with the court for custody and visitation orders. Your ex-boyfriend may request a DNA test, but if you truly believe he is the father, there shouldn’t be an issue with this request.
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