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Do unmarried fathers get visitation in Encino divorces?

If you are the father of a child or children living in the San Fernando Valley and you are not married to the mother of your children, you may wonder about your paternal rights. Especially if you are separated from the mother of your child or children, it can be difficult to understand what the law entitles you to as the father.

One of the most important things for you to understand as the unmarried father of children in California is how paternity is established. Without paternity, you cannot assert your parental rights as an unmarried father.

Determining parentage for custody and visitation

California courts grant custody and visitation rights based on parentage. The court assumes that married couples are the legal parents of a child, but parentage is different for unmarried couples. If a couple is unmarried and separates, the court must have legal proof to establish who the parents are. In this way, the court can legally order custody and visitation. Once you are established as the father of a child, you have all the legal rights and responsibilities of a parent under California law. That means you are financially responsible for your child. It also means that you can request parenting time in the form of custody and visitation. One way to establish parentage is by voluntarily signing an official declaration of parentage.

Enforcing your parental rights

Getting a judicial determination of parentage is the first step you must take if you want to enforce your parental rights under California law. The process for doing so can be complicated, so it is advisable to consult with a family law attorney. Working with a lawyer will ensure that you follow all the necessary laws. It will also protect your interests as the father and help you to enforce your parental rights. 

If you are the unmarried father of a child in the San Fernando Valley and you wish to ensure your rights to custody and visitation are respected, you should seek out the professional advice of a family law attorney who handles paternity cases. The law protects your rights as a father, and an attorney can help you plan for reaching your goals regarding custody and visitation.

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