(951) 444-5530

Corona Paternity Attorney

A paternity action is reserved for individuals who share children together but have never been married. The filing of a paternity action results in a person being determined to be the legal father of a child. By opening a case, particular remedies are available to the parents which include an order for child support, child custody and visitation, and a paternity judgment. However, paternity actions are not limited to remedies by a biological father but also a mother who is seeking child support from the biological father.

Why would a Parent Want to File a Paternity Action and How is this Done?

Where there is a potential issue as to the identity of the biological father, a paternity action will establish the male individual to be a child’s “legal” father.  Likewise, when either parent is unwed and wish the Riverside County courts to enter child custody and visitation orders (i.e. a “parenting plan”), it is necessary to file a “paternity” action.  Below are some common terms involved in paternity cases:

  • Paternity Test: An approved facility will do a simple oral swab to which the DNA of the child will be matched with the DNA of the alleged father.
  • Voluntary Paternity: A father can voluntarily sign the document at the time of the birth of the child.
  • Putative Marital Assumption: For parents who attempted to marry but were unsuccessful, the individuals will be assumed to be the child’s biological parents.
  • Parentage by Estoppel: The court can order that a parent be a child’s legal parent.

Birth Certificate

The signature on the child’s birth certificate does not necessarily mean that the father is the child’s biological parent. The court has to officially order the father to be the “legal” father of the child through a judgment. Even signing a POP declaration (declaration of paternity) does not ensure a father to be the child’s “legal” father unless the court orders him to be the “legal” father.

How to Begin the Process

An individual that wishes to commence a paternity action must first file the following documents:

  • FL-210: Summons (Parentage—Custody and Support)
  • FL-200: Petition to Establish Parental Relationship
  • FL-105: Declaration Under Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act (UCCJEA)
  • RI-FL036: Declaration of Residence
  • RI-FL011: Confidential Contact Information
  • FL-150: Income and Expense Declaration (if support is at issue).

Once filed, all of the documents above must be served upon the other biological parent. A Proof of Service of Summons (FL-115) must be filed with the court to assure the court that the other biological parent was served with the paperwork. Then, once served, the served party must file a response within 30 days. Once the case is opened, either party can seek the following:

Child Custody and Visitation

Just as in a marriage with children, the process of obtaining a child custody and visitation order is the same. If a parent wishes to have a child custody and visitation order, a Request for Order must be filed requesting as such unless the parents can agree upon a child custody and visitation order on their own. This is done by filing the FL-300 (Request for Order) along with a number of attached forms such as FL-305, FL-311, FL-312, FL-341(C), FL-341(D), and FL-341(E). Depending on what the moving party desires, any number of these forms can be included with the FL-300.

Click for more information about our Corona Child Custody cases.

FL-305: Temporary Emergency (Ex Parte) Orders

In cases where an emergency arises with regards to child custody and visitation, a parent can request an emergency hearing with the court to seek an immediate remedy. However, keep in mind that there are filing fees and possible attorney’s fees that could be incurred with such an emergency request. While you may consider a child custody and visitation issue to be an emergency, the court may not consider it to be one. Not all issues are considered emergencies and not all emergency situations are treated equally by the court. One of the typical “emergencies” that can arise that would warrant an Ex Parte Request is when there is drug involvement by either parent, child endangerment, child neglect, etc. When considering this avenue, a parent should ask themselves whether the other parent’s conduct has led to irreparable, serious harm to the minor child. If the answer is yes, an Ex Parte Request may be necessary.

Parties can request a court hearing as early as the next court day as long as certain protocols are met. A party seeking an emergency hearing must meet the following requirements:

  • Notice to the other party by 10 a.m. the previous day before the emergency hearing
  • Location and time of the hearing
  • Remedies sought from the hearing
  • Filing of forms FL-300 and FL-305 with an attached declaration describing the circumstances giving rise to the emergency

With our extensive experience with paternity actions that involve child custody and visitation, our attorneys at Wilkinson & Finkbeiner, LLP can assist you in determining whether your concerns warrant an Ex Parte Request and can provide guidance throughout the process.

FL-311: Child Custody and Visitation (Parenting) Application Attachment

When seeking child custody and visitation orders, notifying the court of your specific parenting schedule request can be helpful. The FL-311 attachment goes into specific details as to a request such as which weekends are being requested, the time of day for the exchange, whether supervised visitation is necessary for the other party, transportation for the exchange, and travel restrictions regarding the minor child. This will not only provide the court with advanced notice of your request but provide the other party with the same advanced notice.

FL-312: Request for Child Abduction Prevention Orders

When there is potential risk of child abduction, this form should be included with the child custody and visitation order request. A reason must be provided and described within this form to prevent the other party from abducting the minor child(ren). Typical instances where this request is warranted are situations in which a party has been known to abduct the minor child(ren) previously or is likely to abduct the minor child(ren). Various requests regarding prevention of child abduction can be requested within this form such as bond posting, permission prior to a move, permission to travel, notification of other states of a child custody and visitation order by filing and registering the order with those states, turning over of passports and preventing the application for additional passports for the minor child(ren), requiring an itinerary and other travel documents when travelling with the minor child(ren), and, in rare cases, notification of foreign authorities of the child custody and visitation order.

FL-341(C): Children’s Holiday Schedule Attachment

One of the main points of contention with child custody and visitation is the issue of holiday visitation for the minor child(ren). The reality is that the courts usually want children to share equal amounts of time with both parents for the holidays. For example, the Thanksgiving school vacation schedule typically includes Thursday and Friday. As such, the courts will generally allow the minor child(ren) to spend time with one parent on Thursday and the other parent on Friday.  This schedule is to be alternated between the parents every year. To keep things organized and predictable, the court will order the minor child(ren) to spend time with one parent every even year and the other parent every odd year. This ensures fairness between the parties and facilitation of the relationship between not only the minor child(ren) and their biological parents but with extended family for the holidays. Form FL-341(C) provides the court with advanced notice of what kind of fair arrangement you are seeking. As can be seen from the form, a parent can seek which years he/she prefers and the time when a particular holiday is to commence. Keep in mind that there are holidays that are typically celebrated with one parent every year and not the other such as Father’s Day and Mother’s Day. Particular vacation restrictions can be requested within this form such as the requirement for advanced notice to the other party of an intended vacation, limitation as to length of vacations, the number of vacations that can be taken with the minor child(ren) per year, and prior consent as to vacations taken outside of California and the U.S.

FL-341(D): Additional Provisions—Physical Custody Attachment

For any additional concerns/provisions, this form can be attached to address them. Issues such as notifications of a change of address, notifications of a proposed move, child care, right of first option of child care, canceled visitation, phone contact between the parties and the minor child(ren), negative comments, discussion of court proceedings with the minor child(ren), no use of children as messengers, alcohol or substance abuse, no exposure to cigarettes or medical marijuana smoke, no interference with the schedule of any party without that party’s consent, third-party contact, children’s clothing and belongings, log book, and changing of the terms and conditions of the order. Of course, the additional concerns are not limited to the above as these are merely standard requests made by parents in a child custody and visitation request.

FL-341(E): Joint Legal Custody Attachment

Legal custody is the ability of a parent to make decisions about a child’s safety, welfare, and education. While physical custody can vary in terms of percentages depending on how much time a parent spends time with a child in any given month, legal custody is ordered to be jointly held by both parents or solely held by one parent. In most cases, parents share joint legal custody. However, particular circumstances warrant sole legal custody such as drug involvement by one parent, child endangerment, and child neglect.

Form FL-341(E) goes into specific detail as to what particular provisions of legal custody the moving party would like to request such as enrollment into school, mental health counseling or therapy, participation in extracurricular activities, selection of a health professional, participation in religious activities, out-of-country or out-of-state travel, etc.

Child Support

Just as with a dissolution of marriage, the amount of child support ordered in a paternity case is dependent upon the child parenting schedule between the parents and an income comparison between the parties. Once the particular percentage of custody and the parties’ incomes are determined, this information is inputted into a program (DISSOMASTER) that determines the amount of “guideline” child support to be ordered by the court. See Child Support Calculation for further information.

Can I Change my Child’s Name on the Birth Certificate?

The request for a name change must be done through the family court, and can be requested as part of the paternity case. Both parents can agree to the name change. Otherwise, a justification must be provided to the court as to why a name change is warranted. The court will then go through an analysis of the child’s best interests. Once a court orders a name change, the order must be forwarded to the Department of Health and Human Services in order for the name change to be effectuated.

For more information from our Corona divorce and custody attorneys, call us at (951) 444-5530 or email us today.