California, like many other states, has adopted the Uniform Parentage Act for use during Pasadena divorce proceedings or when a child is born to unmarried parents. This Act states that "the parent and child relationship extends equally to every child and to every parent, regardless of the marital status of the parents."
The Uniform Parentage Act presumes paternity if any of the following circumstances apply:
- The man is married to the mother when the child is born or was married to her within 300 days of the birth of the child. Under this rule, a man who divorces his wife while she is pregnant is presumed to be the father of the unborn child.
- The man welcomes the minor child into his home and openly proclaims the child to be his natural son or daughter.
- The man attempted to marry the mother before the birth of the child, but the marriage was not valid because of a technicality such as having a clergyperson who couldn't perform the marriage. Under this circumstance, the child needs to have been born during the attempted marriage or within a period of 300 days after the termination of the marriage.
- The man marries the mother after the child's birth and has acknowledged paternity by being named voluntarily on the child's birth certificate, paying child support, and/or signing a voluntary paternity declaration.
The Uniform Parentage Act is important if you are a man who is divorcing your wife because of her extramarital affair. If you suspect that your wife is pregnant with a child that might not be yours, you will want to contest the presumed assumption of paternity. If you are the presumed father, you'll be ordered to pay child support for the child after your divorce.
Sometimes, it's possible for two men to both qualify as the presumed father. If your wife is having an affair with another man, you'd be the presumed father because you were legally married when the child was conceived. But if your wife moves in with her lover after you separate and he openly proclaims the child as his natural son or daughter, he would also be a legally presumed father.
How Can We Help?
DNA testing can clear up some paternity issues, but there have been cases of men being ordered to pay child support even after they were determined not to be the child's biological father. Hiring a skilled attorney with experience in paternity cases is strongly recommended. Please call our office at (626) 683-8113 or email us at info@PasadenaLawOffice.com to speak to one of our skilled Pasadena family law lawyers.