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How Do We Establish Paternity?

Blogs from April, 2022

father and baby

If you are unmarried and have children or have recently undergone an annulment, you may need to establish paternity for your children. In California, there are two ways paternity can be established for a parent of the child — either through voluntary completion of paternity forms or through the creation of a court order. Our Pasadena paternity attorneys share how you can establish paternity.


If both parents agree on parentage, they can establish paternity by voluntarily completing the voluntary declaration of parentage form. This form can be completed at the hospital at the time of the child’s birth or at home. If the form is completed and submitted at the hospital, the father’s name will be included on the child’s birth certificate.

If the form is completed later, it must be completed and signed at your local child support agency, family law facilitator for your local court, welfare office, registrar of births, or in the presents of a notary public to be considered a valid form. After the form is completed, the parents will need to file it with the California Department of Child Support Services Parentage Opportunity Program for parentage to legally be established.

After this form is filed, then a new copy of the child’s birth certificate can be requested with the child’s father included on the form. If you are pursuing paternity following the annulment of a marriage, the voluntary completion of the declaration of parentage form is an easy way to establish paternity for your children.

Court Order

If you are unable to voluntarily establish paternity with your child’s other parent, you may need to seek a court order to establish paternity. You should find a trusted paternity attorney who can guide you through the process and help you prepare for your court hearing. At the time of the establishment of paternity through a court order, you can also request child custody or visitation and begin the process for child support.

The court order process is often complicated and should be navigated with an experienced attorney at your side. Your attorney can help you prepare a thorough case to help you establish legal parentage of your child and guide you through the process.

Law Offices of Christopher L. Hoglin, P.C. Paternity Attorneys

Establishing paternity is a serious and often stressful process. Between filing the correct documentation and ensuring that you are legally recognized as your child’s parent, you will be working through an intricate process to legally link yourself with your child. Our paternity attorneys can help you as you prepare to establish paternity for your child.

Are you seeking paternity but don’t know where to begin? Schedule a consultation with our team today by calling (626) 653-4075 or filling out our online contact form to learn more about how we can help you file for paternity.