When a child is born to a married couple in California, it is presumed that the married couple are the child's legal parents. However, when a child is born to an unmarried couple in California, for a father to have the right to seek custody or visitation with the child, or for the mother to pursue child support from the father, parentage -- also called paternity -- needs to be established. Paternity makes a father the child's legal father, with all the rights and responsibilities that entails.
When an adult adopts a child, that adult becomes the child's legal and permanent parent. The adoptive parent is responsible for raising the child and providing the child with the care and love they need to thrive. Adoption also terminates the parental rights of the child's biological parents, meaning that the biological parents can no longer have custody or visitation with their child and are no longer obligated to financially support the child.
Absent issues of abuse or neglect, it is important that fathers in California are given the chance to bond and care for their child. However, if the child's parents are unmarried and are no longer in a relationship with one another, fathers could face challenges in obtaining the parenting time they need to develop a meaningful relationship with their child. In part, this is because in order for an unmarried father to seek parenting time, paternity must be established.
When people in California picture going through a divorce, they may assume that all the hurt, anger and animosity felt during the marriage will spill over into the divorce proceedings. However, this is not true for every divorce case. Oftentimes, the parties want to end their relationship with as little conflict as possible, especially if they have children. Divorce mediation may be an attractive choice for these couples.
When a couple in California divorces, one spouse may be ordered to pay spousal support to the other spouse. However, life is not static and sometimes changes take place that affect a paying spouse's ability to pay his or her obligation. On the flip side, life changes may change a receiving spouse's need for support. Therefore, sometimes a spouse might seek to have the amount of support modified.
If you have decided to expand your family, then you may be considering adopting a child. The adoption process can be challenging, but for many people it is well-worth it for the chance to welcome a new child into their family.
Divorcing parents in California generally know that they will have to come up a custody and visitation agreement, or parenting plan, to decide where the child will spend what days and who will make decisions regarding the child's upbringing. However, parents may not know where to begin when creating their plans and what details to include. Parenting plans, much like most other aspects of family law, should focus on the best interest of the child.
Bringing a child into one's family can be an exciting and challenging decision. If one decides to adopt, going through the legal process of adoption gives the new parent the same legal rights and responsibilities as the child's biological parent.
When parents split up, their number one concern is generally making sure that the children are well-cared for. Parents may disagree over who should have more time with the children and how to raise them. These conflicts can ultimately tear a family apart and leave children caught in the middle of the war between their parents.