Asserting Your Parental Rights

For unwed fathers in California, establishing your parental rights to your child requires affirmative legal action. You must formally establish paternity in order to secure the rights and obligations of parenthood. Likewise, in order to obtain child support from your child's biological father, you may first have to petition the court to establish his paternity.

I am Andrew E. Stadler, an experienced California family law attorney who can help you with the paternity process — whether you are seeking to secure your parental rights or establish child support. Additionally, I represent both married and unwed parents in child custody cases.

Call 707-573-0818 to discuss your specific situation in a free consultation. From my office in Santa Rosa, I serve clients throughout Sonoma County.

For unmarried couples, parental rights are often a central concern. Paternity, child custody and child support proceedings are all means of establishing and enforcing those rights.

Why Pursue Paternity Proceedings?

Paternity is often the first step in pursuing child custody or support when the father has not been legally acknowledged as the child's parent. There are several ways to establish paternity — either on your own or that of your child's father. Paternity proceedings can be voluntary or involuntary.

Once paternity is established, the next step is often determining child custody, visitation and support arrangements. Unmarried couples have the same rights in child custody and support proceedings as married (or divorcing) couples. The process is generally the same.

How Paternity Is Established

Paternity can be established in a variety of ways. Fathers wishing to concede paternity may submit a formal affidavit to the court attesting that they are the child's biological father.

If the father wishes to contest paternity, he must do so in court. DNA tests are often a central part of proving or disproving paternity.

Sonoma County Parental Rights Attorneys

To arrange for a free consultation with a lawyer, call my office or complete the brief online form.