Asserting The Rights of Unmarried Parents

Parents have rights and responsibilities, regardless of whether they are married or unmarried. However, when a child is born to unmarried parents, there are steps that must be taken in order to acknowledge the legal relationship between the father and the child. At the Law and Mediation Offices of Barbara Irshay Zipperman, we assist mothers and fathers through the legal process of establishing paternity and related matters of child custody, visitation and child support.

Los Angeles family lawyer Barbara Irshay Zipperman has extensive experience with issues involving paternity, child custody and child support. In working with our law firm, you will find that our primary focus is always on the best interests of the children involved and finding legal solutions that preserve those interests.

Put our more than 30 years of experience to work for you by calling to arrange an initial consultation.

Do You Have Questions About Paternity Issues?

When a child is born to married parents, the husband is presumed to be the child's biological father. This legal relationship allows the child to receive certain government benefits, health care benefits and other benefits through the father. It also entitles the child to intestate inheritance rights should it ever become an issue. If the couple should ever divorce or separate, the court can render decisions involving child custody and child support.

However, there is no presumption of who the biological father is when a child is born to unmarried parents. The legal relationship between father and child can be established either through a Voluntary Declaration of Paternity (which is usually signed at the hospital) or through a Petition to Establish Parental Relationship (which is filed with the court). Our law firm can answer your questions and assist you in the process of establishing paternity.

What Are The Circumstances Of Your Case?

Many times, there is an informal understanding between the mother and father about the father's involvement in the child's life and about child support that will be provided. However, unless the father is legally established as the child's father, these arrangements have virtually no merit if they are ever brought to the court.

Additionally, without establishing paternity, the court will not have the authority to address concerns involving the father's legal rights and obligations, such as:

  • What if the child's mother wants to move out of the state with my child?
  • Can I seek custody of my child?
  • How can I establish child support or modify child support?
  • What are my visitation rights?

Contact A Knowledgeable Lawyer

For more information about paternity or establishing parental rights as an unmarried parent, call our family law firm to arrange an initial consultation with an experienced attorney. Or, if you prefer, complete the online form.