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When are you a presumed parent in a paternity case?

by | Nov 21, 2022 | Family Law, Parentage and Paternity


Raising a child is an emotional, personal and financial endeavor, and it requires the contributions of both parents. It is important to establish paternity.

Knowing when a person is a “presumed” parent is fundamental.

When does the law presume a person is a child’s parent?

There are specific instances when the law will presume a person is a parent. First, if the alleged biological father was married to the mother when the child was either conceived or born, then they are presumed to be the parent.

It is also presumed if the alleged father tried to marry the mother and the child was conceived or born during the marriage but the marriage was not legally valid.

A court will also presume a man is the parent if he marries the mother and agrees to be placed on the birth certificate as the father to provide support.

If the child is taken into the home and the alleged father behaved as if the child was their own, this makes them a presumed parent. The man can then be considered the father in a legal sense even if it is found that they are not the biological father.

Paternity or parentage questions often warrant professional representation

When assessing the law, those in complicated situations may need guidance on how to truly determine parentage/paternity in California.

For example, if a woman had a relationship outside the marriage and the father could be someone other than the husband, determining paternity can be tricky.

In these emotional cases, it is important for those involved to feel at ease and to have experienced advice from the outset. To understand the options, consulting with caring professionals in family law can give advice and help.