Parentage cases involve the legal recognition and determination of a child’s parent(s). The most common situation arises when a child is born to parents who were never married, but also includes more complex assisted reproduction and surrogacy law.
Parentage law includes many presumptions in deciding whether a person is a legal parent and entitled to custody rights and obligations.
The basic presumption is that a child born to a wife cohabitating with her husband, who is not impotent or sterile, is presumed to be a child of the marriage (Family Code § 7540, 7611). This presumption can be overcome with genetic DNA testing, but there are time limits on requesting a paternity test.
Similarly, a person who receives a child into their home and holds the child out as their own child is deemed a Presumed Parent of the child (Family Code § 7611).
It is essential to discuss your potential parentage case with an experienced family law attorney. The outcome will determine whether you have any custody rights and whether you will be ordered to pay child support.