For many Californians, the most important legal right they will exercise is paternity. Your legal rights as a parent can affect the relationship you have with your child for years to come. If you are facing a difficult co-parenting relationship or unfair orders from the family court, it is important to consult with a family law attorney about your legal rights. The custody lawyers at Miranda, Magden & Miranda are experienced in all types of paternity actions and family court matters. Learn more about establishing paternity, your legal rights as a parent, and the responsibilities that will be imposed by the family court.
A paternity action is a legal claim to establish parenting rights. In technical terms, you are suing the other parent for the right to custody. The first step in a paternity action is to prove that you are the legal parent of the child. This is can be done with a DNA test. The law also allows paternity to be presumed if the parents were married at the time the child was born, or if the mother voluntarily listed the father on the birth certificate, or in other specific circumstances. A child custody lawyer will be able to determine the right way to prove paternity in your unique case. Once paternity has been established, the court will determine your rights and responsibilities as a parent.
In the family court, child custody is considered to be two separate rights: the right to spend time with the child (physical custody) and the right to make decisions about the child’s life (legal custody). Today, most paternity cases involve some form of joint custody. It is rare for a court to determine that it is in a child’s best interest to have no contact whatsoever with a parent. Joint custody means that both parents have the right to spend time with the child on a set parenting time schedule, and both parents have a say in decisions about the child (such as education, religion, and medical procedures).
Any legal right also comes with legal responsibilities. In the case of a paternity action, either parent can be ordered to pay child support to the other. (Child support is calculated using legal guidelines that account for each parent’s income and the amount of time each parent spends with the child.) You may also be ordered to maintain health insurance coverage for the child. There are obligations that can be agreed to in a parenting plan – for example, paying for extracurricular activities or driving the child to the other parent’s house for parenting time. It is important to be prepared for these legal responsibilities before filing any paternity action.
The experienced family law attorneys at Miranda, Magden & Miranda are here to answer all your questions about paternity actions. Contact us to schedule a consultation at one of our convenient office locations in Salinas and Monterey. For years, Californians have trusted our skilled legal team to defend their parenting times, and we will fight hard for you, too.
Thank you Miranda and team for the excellent service provided. Miranda is a compassionate, understating, extremely knowledgeable and professional attorney. Her team was always on top of everything making my legal process less stressful. I could never thank Miranda and her assistant Ingrid for holding my hand throughout this difficult process (literally). Miranda is one of the BEST immigration lawyers ever! I would definitely recommend her.
They represented my custody case and handled it like it is their own case and they are best in Monterey County.
The entire team at MMM are superstars! I appreciate all the time and prep that went into my original case many years ago. And now recently, I asked for some help on a follow-up custody matter that I felt I could handle myself but just needed their expertise to properly represent all the important details. They are knowledgeable, extremely thorough, and prepared me for every possible scenario. I can't thank them enough!
My partner and I sought legal advice on bringing my fiance' to the United States with this office after having called a few immigration attorney offices around Monterey County. Having never sought legal advice before it was a refreshing experience in which we both really felt that Patricia listened intently to our goals and needs, and then not only gave us thorough advice, but also she really showed a lot of empathy with our situation and all the challenges we faced in what we trying to do. I would definitely recommend this office for anyone who is unclear about what..
Working with Patricia was a professional encounter unlike any other, an absolute 5-star experience. From the first moment, we walked into our consultation until the moment our case was closed and my husband walked away with his permanent resident card Patricia was communicative, professional, and thorough. Her team contacted us every step of the way providing valuable process and law changes we would not have been able to catch if we tried to navigate this endeavor alone. Patricia answered our endless question stream with thoughtfulness and care, calling us countless times to ensure we were clear on every piece of..
Last year, I had just moved in the area and needed a family law attorney for a custody case. The process of finding/choosing an attorney could be daunting. However, when I went in for my first consultation with Levi my stress level was immediately mollified. He was personable, which made me feel comfortable to discuss my personal matters freely. I had a lot of questions of the legal process that would take place and he took the time to explain everything with meticulous detail. More importantly, when I called Levi he returned my phone calls in a timely/professional time frame...
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