Paternity

Do Family Law Courts Determine Parentage?

Parentage or paternity matters are resolved in the family court along with child support and other issues related to a child.

Family law courts have jurisdiction to determine parentage. In other words, family law courts may determine the identity of the parents of a child using genetic testing. Once parentage is established, a person has all the rights of a parent, may obtain custody/visitation orders, and may be ordered to pay child support.

Parentage litigation is resolved in the family law courts. This area of the law is decided based on statutes, case law and a number of very significant presumptions. The laws are designed to protect the best interests of the child and follow common sense.

Can Parentage Cases Also Involve Child Custody Support Issues?

Paternity cases may also involve other child custody issues and child support issues, which are both determined under the same body of law that controls these issues in a divorce.

California laws relative to paternity are based on the Uniform Parentage Act (UPA), which was adopted in 1975 but is not limited to the provisions of the UPA.