Paternity Lawyer

in Novato, Marin County

The laws surrounding parentage in California are complex and routinely involve genetic testing, court orders, and an array of court forms. This is why it makes sense to retain the services of a Novato family law attorney skilled and knowledgeable in paternity law to get a detailed assessment of your legal options. Establishing parentage is critically important, especially if you attempting to obtain child support from someone or establish a custody order. Parentage is also necessary if you need to access your child’s medical records, apply for certain government benefits, and secure health insurance for your child.

Request a Consultation

How to Establish Parentage

In California, it is possible to establish parentage by securing an official parentage judgment or a court order that states the legal parents of the child. A parentage judgment is required before a court will order custody, visitation, or child support payments.

Things to keep in mind With

Paternity & Marriage

Establishing Parentage When the Parents are Married

Under California law, when two parents are married when a child is born, there is a legal presumption that the husband is the father and the wife is the mother. In these instances, the legal presumption is embedded in the institution of marriage. In addition, California law presumes that registered domestic partners are the parents at the birth of a child.

Establishing Parentage When the Parents are Not Married

If the parents are not married when the mother became pregnant or at the time of birth, under California law, the child does not have a legal father. In this scenario, parentage must be affirmatively established. Furthermore, if a genetic or DNA test establishes who the father is, the test alone does not legally establish parentage or result in any legal responsibilities on the father. However, when a court officially establishes parentage, the rights and obligations of the father are triggered.

Establishing Parentage in Court

Under California law, it is possible to establish parentage via court order. The following individuals and entities can seek to establish parentage in court:

The child’s mother

The man who reasonably believes they are the father of the child

A local child support agency

An adoption agency

The child themselves if they are over the age of 12

How to Dispute Paternity

If you are seeking to dispute the paternity of a child, you have the right to ask a court to order a paternity test. In order to initiate this request, you will need to serve the other party with a Summons and Petition to Determine Parental Relationship (FL-200). The other party must then respond within 30 days. If they fail to respond within this statutory deadline, a court has the power to establish the other party as the legal parent regardless of the outcome of a paternity test.


Jeremy Castro helped me with an adoption after my daughter’s dad passed away. My husband has been a step dad to her for 8 years and wanted to adopt her. Even though there is no way he can completely fill the role of her deceased father, he wanted to fully be there for her and offer comfort and emotional support for her. Jeremy and his wife Danielle were there every step of the way for us! I’m so grateful they were there to help with all of our questions and guide us though this process. Jermey’s passion for helping bring families together was so delightful.
This review is about my experience with Jeremy and team at Castro Law. After calling around numerous times to different firms, going to the law library, and reaching out to dads rights advocates. I still didn’t get much help. I made the best choice of my life by calling Castro Law. If you’re reading this I recommend at least giving them a call because they mean business. I finally feel at peace , they went above and beyond for me. The team is great at communicating, very knowledgeable, helpful, and are professional. In my experience mothers are the one favored in the courts, and get the better outcome. Jeremy and team were in my corner the whole time and proved that dads have rights too! Im with this team until my kids are 18 , thanks again Castro Law
I highly recommend Jeremy Castro and his associates to any future clients. They are legal professionals who: 1. Know and apply the law to your individual case to achieve the best possible outcome 2. Communicate in a fair and straightforward manner to all parties 3. Reduce the tension in an otherwise emotional setting and assist making objective decisions. They personally saw my case through to an amicable conclusion and their billing hours were appropriate. First class performance!
I wanted to take this time to write a review about my experience with Castro Law Offices. First off, they were not only FAST to my reply, but also very kind to my emotional situation. I was even handed some tissues for when I was crying. I was treated with the upmost respect (even though I'm sure I looked a little manic while in there explaining my case.) and kindness. They got my case close within a week, and also got me EVERYTHING I was asked for. I recommend Castro Law for ANYONE in need of lawyer assistance. Jeremy and his team work hard, day and night to make sure they meet all of their client's needs. If you're looking for immediate help and guidance with ANY attorney, Castro Law.
When things came to a point of contention with my children's father I knew I needed the help of an attorney. After weeks long search and hundreds of dollars in consultation fees with numerous other attorneys I finally found Jeremy! He is very knowledgeable regarding family law issues, authentic in his character and legal advice, as well as very reliable. As anyone in our shoes has been knows, the unknown can be very stressful. Jeremy made it a point to get back to me promptly when I contacted him...sometimes late into the night. He also was very transparent regarding communication with the other party. Would absolutely recommend Jeremy to anyone with with family law needs!
I was so happy I had decided to hire the Castro Law Office for my child custody and visitation case in Napa County. As a single father of three boys in the state of California, I felt as if I was already doomed thinking that the state would favor the mother regardless of my capability to care for our children. Jeremy was very empathetic and worked diligently to get myself in a good position for the hearing, as I hired him approximately a month prior to the court date. During the hearing, he was very stern and aggressive at the right moments. The situation I was in was extremely stressful and hiring the Castro Law Office helped put my mind at ease. He was very upfront and honest with me from the beginning and which is a trait I greatly appreciated. In the end, we were able to obtain an agreement that is best suited for the children and ourselves. I would hire them again for any other issues I might have in the future.

Have Questions About Paternity Laws In California?

Schedule A Confidential Case Review With An Experienced Paternity Attorney In Novato Today

If you are seeking to establish parentage or want to contest parentage, Castro Law Offices, P.C. is here to help. Castro Law Offices, P.C. is a premier California law firm specializing in paternity issues, divorcechild custody, and all other issues concerning domestic relations. Castro Law Offices, P.C. is based in Novato, California, but is ready and able to provide legal services and advice to clients in and around Marin County including Novato, San Rafael, Greenbrae, San Anselmo, Fairfax, Sausalito, Larkspur, West Marin, Ross, Mill Valley and Corte Madera. Contact Castro Law Offices, P.C. today to schedule a confidential consultation.