A father’s rights in California may depend on whether or not his child was born out of wedlock. If the child was born in wedlock, the father may have a much simpler path ahead of him in terms of his right to custody, visitation or child support. If the child was born out of wedlock, the father may face a much more difficult path.
The mother of a child born out of wedlock may deny the father any rights to visitation and she has the right to assume full custody of the child unless the Court says otherwise. If the mother would like to collect child support, she may file with the court to determine the father of the child and must also file an Order to Show Cause for child support.
Either party may request a DNA test be conducted to determine the father of the child. If a father wants to obtain visitation rights, custody or child support, they will have to file an Order to Show Cause for these rights and will have to file a Petition to Establish Parentage.
In many cases, the court will grant the father visitation rights unless it is proven that it is in the child’s best interest that the father is denied such rights. The reasoning is complicated and delicate as another parenal figure who appears in and out of the child life could bring on strong dependency issues later on in life.
Determining a father’s rights in the state of California may be difficult and confusing for some people. Consulting with a knowledgeable attorney who specializes in the area of family law may help to shed some light on the process and the father’s options. The objective is to make all parties come to a level of acceptance that is fair.