When a child is born out of wedlock, determining their father’s identity can be a challenge. Whether you are a father that wishes to play an important role in your child’s life, or you are a mother that needs the legal assistance of court-ordered child support, a paternity lawyer can help. Paternity cases are family law matters that involve the child of unmarried parents and our lawyers are adept at assisting either party with all types of paternity issues and disputes. At the Law Offices of Evan Braunstein, Santa Barbara paternity lawyer Evan Braunstein is trained and experienced in paternity law.
The first stage of a paternity case involves the determination of a child’s parent. This is done by filing a Petition to Establish Parental Relationship. After this has been filed, the other party can either agree to the parental relationship or deny it. If the relationship is denied, the parentage is determined scientifically by a DNA test. If parentage is established the case may then involve child custody and visitation and child support just like it does for married people going through a divorce or legal separation.
A paternity case may be filed by a mother asking for a father to share responsibility for a child, or by a father looking for a relationship with his child. The Law Offices of Evan Braunstein provides legal services related to the determination of parentage, child custody and visitation, and child support. If you live in Santa Barbara and want to file a paternity case, or if a Santa Barbara paternity case has been filed against you, call or email us to schedule a consultation with a Santa Barbara Paternity lawyer.
Child Support for Single Mothers
According to the U.S. Census, 23 percent of children in the U.S. live only with their mother. This places an enormous burden of responsibility on just one person, which is not always the easiest way to raise a child. While living with the child’s father may not be an option, he should still be held responsible for providing as much financial support as he is able to. But how much child support is the father legally bound to pay? That answer depends on some of the following criteria listed below, according to the California Department of Child Support Services (CDCSS):
Child support is used for everything needed to raise your child, from diapers, toys, food, clothing, and school supplies to health care, college, and braces. According to the LA Times, a new report found that the average child in the U.S. costs just under a quarter of a million dollars to raise until their 18th birthday. This, of course, does not take into account college. A parent who owes child support must pay it until their child reaches the age of 18, or the age of 19 if the child is in high school full time and is not married. Moreover, if past child support is due, it must be paid until the case is paid in full, regardless of how old the child is, according to CDCSS.
Our child support and paternity attorneys understand just how expensive and trying it can be to raise a child or multiple children on your own. We urge you to reach out for help by taking the initial step of going through with a court-ordered paternity test to legally determine the identity of the child’s father.
It is not always the mother that wants to prove paternity. Often, a man that fathered a child out of wedlock must legally prove that he is the child’s biological father in order to make legal decisions regarding his son or daughter, earn visitation rights, or even be granted sole custody. Just because the child’s mother gave birth to your child does not make her the only person that has a say in the child’s life. There are various types of custody, according to California Courts, that you may be interested in pursuing, including the following:
In order to be granted any legal custody or visitation rights, you first must prove your paternity with a DNA test. DNA tests are virtually 100 percent accurate, with only a negligible room for error, meaning that if your DNA test shows that you match your son or daughter, the issue or dispute that you may have had with the child’s mother quickly becomes moot.
If you are seeking child support from your child’s father, who refuses to acknowledge his paternity obligation, call an experienced paternity lawyer today. Similarly, if you are a father and want to be a part of your child’s life, contact the Law Offices of Evan Braunstein at once for assistance with your case.