Torrance Paternity Lawyer
Do you need the assistance of a paternity lawyer? If so, you are not alone. Michael D. Shook, Attorney At Law, has helped countless individuals contest or establish paternity in Los Angeles County. He would gladly do the same for you.
Attorney Shook handles cases involving:
- Divorce: Paternity frequently impacts divorce settlements. With his decades of family law experience, Attorney Shook can help individuals navigate paternity issues during a divorce.
- Child Custody: Attorney Shook can assist people who need to file petitions to establish paternity and secure their custodial rights.
- Child Support: Should a parent fail to provide the support their child needs, Attorney Shook can take measures to rectify the issue. This often includes petitioning courts to establish paternity and instate support payments.
Paternity cases are as unique as the people involved. This is why Attorney Shook communicates directly with clients to develop individualized strategies. Schedule a free case review to begin working with Torrance paternity lawyer Michael D. Shook.
What Is Paternity?
Paternity is the legal recognition of a person as a child’s father. Today, California law often uses the gender-neutral term “parentage” when referring to the relationship between a parent who did not give birth and their child. For continuity and clarity, we will use “paternity” on this page. Paternity establishes various parental rights and responsibilities. These can include visitation and custody. Paternity also makes a parent financially responsible for supporting their child.
Ways of Establishing Paternity
There are two ways to establish paternity in California:
- Voluntary Declaration of Paternity (VDOP): If both parents agree to it, they can sign a VDOP. Since they do not involve courts, VDOPs are the most straightforward method of establishing paternity.
- Court Order: In cases where there is a dispute concerning paternity, either parent can go to court to establish or challenge paternity. Judges may order genetic testing to determine paternity.
It is important to note that California presumes paternity when the parent who did not give birth is married at the time of the child’s conception or birth.
Why Is Establishing Paternity Important?
After practicing law for decades, Attorney Shook has seen the impact establishing paternity can have on individuals and their families.
Establishing paternity is important for:
- Securing custody and visitation rights. Once established, paternity allows a parent to seek a fair custody and visitation arrangement, which can be crucial for developing a meaningful relationship with a child.
- Getting necessary child support. Legal paternity allows a custodial parent to obtain the financial support they need for their child’s schooling, healthcare, and other expenses.
- Inheritance and benefits. Paternity can protect a child’s future financial security by giving them inheritance rights and access to social security, health insurance, and other benefit programs.
- Emotional support and identity: Knowing one's biological parent can contribute to a child's sense of identity and self-worth. It allows them to have a complete understanding of their family history and heritage, which can foster a strong emotional connection.
While establishing paternity can be beneficial for some, it can be detrimental for those who are not biological parents of children. To dispute paternity, a person may file a paternity action with the appropriate court and present evidence that supports their case. The evidence can include a DNA test that shows the child and parent are not biologically related. It might also include specific evidence that challenges the assumption of parenthood. Whatever the approach, retaining a trusted Los Angeles County paternity lawyer is crucial for navigating the complex court processes.
Schedule a Free Case Review
Contact our office to schedule a convenient time for Attorney Shook to review your case. After discussing your situation, he can detail the next steps and your options for establishing or contesting paternity. These initial meetings are free, and Attorney Shook’s services are affordable. Do not go another day without the vital support of an experienced Torrance paternity attorney.
Call (310) 361-2977 today to get started.