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Paternity Guiding You Through Difficult Times

Ventura Paternity Attorneys

Fighting for Father's Rights in CA

California paternity cases are called actions to determine parental relationships to establish who the child’s legal father is. You might need to determine paternity in the event you and your partner were not married at the time your child was born. This will need to be established before the father is legally entitled to child custody, child support, or visitation rights. A father has no legal rights or responsibilities to care for his child until paternity has been determined.

As the mother of a child, you might want to establish paternity to obtain a child support order for your child. As the father of a child, you might want to establish paternity to solidify your parental rights. Regardless of the situation, you should speak with an experienced lawyer to help you understand your rights.

How Do You Establish Paternity in California?

You can establish paternity in California by signing a Declaration of Paternity or obtaining a court order. A Declaration of Paternity is a legal document signed voluntarily by both legal parents of the child. Typically, this is signed right after the child is born at the hospital.

If a father is unsure if a child is his, he has the right to ask the court for a paternity test. He should not sign the Declaration of Paternity until he knows the results of this test.

Why Would You Want to Establish Paternity?

The main reason for establishing paternity is to obtain custody of a child.

Additional benefits include:

  • The right to inherit from each parent
  • Gaining access to family medical history and records
  • Health insurance coverage from each parent

Who Can Request a Paternity Order Submission?

A paternity order request can also be submitted through California court. The individuals who can make this type of paternity request are as follows:

  • The child’s mother
  • The “alleged” father – the man who believes he is the father of the child
  • An adoption agency

What Happens if a Married Woman Gets Pregnant with Another Man’s Child?

If a married woman gets pregnant with another man’s child who is not her husband, paternity can get complicated. In California, if a child is born, the couple were married, and they were cohabiting at the time of conception and birth, a presumption arises that the child is a child of the marriage.

The presumption may be challenged within two years of the child’s birth upon application and genetic testing.

Turn to Our Ventura Paternity Lawyers with Your Questions

As you can see, marriage often trumps paternity in the state of California. If you have questions or concerns regarding the paternity of your child, or you need assistance establishing who the father is, contact our experienced lawyers today.

It is important to handle a paternity case as soon as the child is born as these types of cases take a significant amount of time to work through. Matters such as child custody, visitation, child support and financial issues must all be taken into consideration. Do not hesitate to call us today to get started on your case.

Contact us online or call us at (805) 222-7818 to book a consultation to discuss your paternity case. 

An Emphasis on Strong Family Values

Our firm places a strong emphasis on the importance of family values. The balance between maintaining these family values and generating a better future for you and your family is one we strive to achieve with each case. Our values consist of:
  • Holistic Approach

    We aim to resolve conflict so you and your family can move on peacefully. We approach all aspects of a case, including the emotional, financial, and mental components, and advocate with you throughout.

  • Collaboration

    Collaborative divorce can be a great option for spouses looking to share joint custody of their child/children and the court looks favorably on this decision. When possible, we strive to come to a resolution that will benefit both spouses.

  • Children Come First

    We respect the fact that our clients trust us with important life-decisions. We strive to be as understanding and empathetic as we can with you and treat you like we would treat a close family member.

  • Compassionate Legal Services

    We respect the fact that our clients trust us with important life-decisions. We strive to be as understanding and empathetic as we can with you and treat you like we would treat a close family member.

Our Satisfied Clients

Real Stories from Real People
  • “She and her staff are professional with decades of experience.”

    I recommend Donna Santo and her staff. She and her staff are professional with decades of experience. They understand the law and how family law cases are heard in the courts. I had an extremely complex custody case with dozens of health professionals, collateral contacts, and opinions floating around. There were so many accusations, crisis, and charges; and every one of them felt extremely important to me. My concerns were serious, and the innumerable quantity along with counter accusations overwhelmed the courts. Donna's office was able to sift through and make sense of things to help get things on track. Donna's office took the time to relate this to the courts in a logical digestible manner for the best possible outcome. It took time. I needed to trust. She knows her stuff, and is strong at the right times.

    - Jason
  • “Donna Santo is a very professional lawyer”

    Donna Santo is a very professional lawyer, along with a very professional staff. I was searching for a lawyer familiar with military law, and Donna was the top of the search!! I needed a divorce attorney, and she has amazing military knowledge. She kept me up to date on everything and if I did not understand something she was very patient and explained in detail, until I completely understood the situation. When it came down to spousal support, a lump sum was not satisfactory, and Donna "fought" for me until I was awarded a lump sum and full monthly spousal support (we did not have children) and now I am able to live comfortably without worrying if I am going to make ends meet. If you need a professional lawyer, whether or not you need military law, consider Donna Santo, you will definitely NOT be disappointed!!

    - Kathy
  • “I would definitely recommend their firm for anyone!”
    The Santo Mehas team has been exceptional in handling my case. They are very experienced, have given me good advice and representation, and they have worked on my particularly complex case almost as if I were family. They have shown support beyond professionally, but also personally. They have worked with me financially, and are very fair and understanding. I would definitely recommend their firm for anyone who needs family law assistance!
    - Heather L.
  • “Donna Santo is a no nonsense, highly professional family attorne”

    Donna Santo is a no nonsense, highly professional family attorney. She has many years of experience which I found to be critical when it came to working in the family court system. She has had experience with all the judges and therefore quickly formulates a plan that is realistic, and has the best chance of success. You could not make a better choice to help you through this incredibly difficult situation.

    - Scott
  • “5 stars is not enough.”
    5 stars is not enough. Mr. Mehas and Ms. Santo are the A team of attorneys. They are comprehensive, strategic, one step ahead, and a powerful team! When you hire the Santo Mehas firm to manage your case, you have hired a team of legal advocates who care, who will keep you informed, who will fight for you, and be the voice you need to represent you. Without the help of the entire firm, I know that I would not have had the successful outcomes I have had. They took on an extremely difficult case and encountered issues that no one expected and few had ever seen. They worked tirelessly to make sure that the truth was told and presented it perfectly. They stood by every one of my requests and guided me through the entire lengthy process. Though there were challenges, they strategically and diligently with compassion met them head on and never faltered. Their expertise and thoroughness provided us the pathway we needed to rise to victory. I am proud to be a client and will continue to retain them for all legal matters that may arise as I know I am in the best hands.
    - Christy B.
  • “They were there for me from the beginning to the end”
    “They were there for me from the beginning to the end”
    - Lawrence J.
  • “I appreciated her absolute professionalism & integrity throughout the divorce process.”

    I have had the pleasure of retaining Donna Santo as my divorce attorney. Obviously, no one wants to retain a divorce attorney but sometimes life leads you to things you thought you'd never have to do. Donna came highly recommended by contacts, friends, and colleagues. She has been practicing law for over 40 years. I appreciated her absolute professionalism & integrity throughout the divorce process - something that was not mirrored from opposing counsel. I wanted as little drama as possible with the negotiations and proceedings and that is the way she conducted herself and my case. Her staff was truly wonderful to work with. I'm happy to speak with or provide a professional reference for her.

    - Jennifer C.
  • “I would trust them with any of my needs”
    “I would trust them with any of my needs.”
    - Ron H.