Paternity, an important aspect of family law, overlaps with child support and custody matters. Establishing a child’s paternity is vital for granting the father visitation rights and determining the responsibility of child support. The Court prioritizes the child’s best interests when deciding on parental rights and visitation schedules. Paternity cases commonly arise among unmarried parties who have children together. Upon birth, many fathers sign a document known as the Voluntary Declaration of Paternity. This affirms their parentage and secures their name on the birth certificate.

When uncertainty arises regarding the child’s father, paternity cases resolve the issue. Any party, not exclusively the father, can initiate a paternity petition. In cases where unmarried parents seek to confirm who the father of the child is, either party can file. Frequently, the mother initiates the case to secure child support payments. This is because a paternity determination legally obligates the father to provide financial support. Once paternity is established, the Court can address matters related to child support and child custody. The Court often determines the amount of child support the noncustodial parent is obligated to pay and decides on child custody arrangements that serve the best interests of the child.  

Why Paternity is important

Often times parents who are unmarried do not file a petition to establish paternity immediately when the child is born. Instead, they often wait sometimes years down the road. This is not advisable. Immediate action is recommended upon the child’s birth to safeguard parental and inheritance rights. The filing of such action should not be delayed, especially considering most mothers who are unwed will need child support from the father and most fathers will want to have custodial and visitation rights with the child.

Upon establishing paternity, the Court issues a Judgment for Paternity, granting visitation, custody rights, and setting child support orders.

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Navigating these cases alone can lead to legal issues, prolonging the case or hindering rightful claims. Attorney Burkett has a vast knowledge of paternity laws and has helped countless clients with their cases. Many of his clients proved their paternity and secured their rights to their children due to his compassionate and diligent work. Attorney Burkett handles such cases at all four Courthouses in San Diego County: Central Courthouse, South County Chula Vista Courthouse, East County El Cajon Courthouse, and North County Vista Courthouse.

For personalized guidance on your case, contact us to arrange a free consultation via our website’s contact form or by calling our office at (619) 250-2683.


The Law Office of Brian Burkett is conveniently and centrally located in the Mission Valley area of San Diego, right off of the 163 and 8 freeways. Easy access and plenty of free parking. Convenient hours. Our office handles Family Law, Divorce, and Child Custody cases at all of the San Diego County Courthouses: Downtown, Vista, El Cajon, and Chula Vista.

San Diego, CA Office
591 Camino De La Reina

San Diego, CA 92108

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I know and have worked with Brian on a professional level for some time now. I can honestly say that he really cares about his clients. He is a genuine and honest...


Brian helped me in a child support case and also to attain guardianship of my grandson. In both cases, he was honest, persistent, and handled everything in a caring and...


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