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Knowing how an attorney in San Diego analyzes your family law case [whether a paternity, divorce or legal separation] is very important to your assisting your attorney and also helping you with obtaining your legal goals. Many professions have different methods for analyzation as well as different procedures for dispute resolution. Some professions use collaborative approaches and work together in a team for the best result. In San Diego, as well as other jurisdictions, attorneys are in an adversarial position with the opposing side. If no agreement, both sides will present their respective positions to a Judge who will then make a decision. In the law, there is the attorney client privilege which means confidential communications. As such, all information may not be known to the Judge by either side. This is much different, for example than a surgical team of doctors who are working together and share all information. Knowing that this is an adversarial procedure will help you in your pending case.

Attorneys analyze using a strategy called “IRAC”. This stands for issue, rule, analysis and conclusion. No matter what the field of law [family law which includes custody, visitation, alimony and division of assets and debts or car accident or criminal], all lawyers will analyze with this procedure. It is not, however, as easy as it sounds which is why legal education, experience and training is needed. The first, issue, can be very complicated. A husband or wife or mother or father will come to the attorney and tell them their factual situation. The lawyer has to decide what are the legal issues in the case. There may be many legal issues at the same time. “Issue Spotting” is the first [and some may say] most important since if you miss an issue than you will not continue with the rule, analysis and conclusion procedure. The next step is to determine the legal rule or law which controls. This is also very complex since the rules consist of statutes, cases and other legal authority. It is crucial to use the correct rule of law for the issue. The next is analysis. This is also very important since the legal analysis will consider the facts, evidence and law. Analysis can be very complicated. For example, for permanent spousal support orders and modification of permanent spousal support orders in San Diego Family Law Courts, the Family Law Code Section 4320 factor is used. Under a subsection of this Code, is that the goal is that the supported spouse should be self supporting within one half the duration of the marriage and, absent other factors, the Court will set a termination date of one half the duration of the marriage. If married for more than ten years, however, no termination date will be set per Family Law Code Section 4336 but the goal of self supporting still exists. For modification motions for permanent spousal support, this can be further complicated by whether or not a Gavron order was in effect or not for duration and termination analysis. The last is the conclusion. As with the above example, would a San Diego Judge order a termination date for a marriage of over ten years in a legal separation or divorce as of the date of judgment? The conclusion is “no” given above analysis. This can be further complicated by parties agreeing to a termination date for their long term marriage and other factors.

The law firm of Doppelt And Forney, APLC has experience with issue spotting, the rules of family law, analyzing family law cases and coming to a conclusion to try and give clients realistic expectations. A free consultation is offered in their office up to 30 minutes and confidential whether you hire the firm or not. During this consultation, the attorney will use IRAC strategies for your case. There is free parking and easy to find right off the I-15 at Bernardo Center Drive.

As a single father, you will have multiple opportunities, unfortunately, to have issues arise with regards to your child and the parenting plan and child support. But there are seven common mistakes made by single fathers in San Diego than can result in devastating long-term consequences for you and your child. It is important to analyze without emotion and only in accord with the law to try and obtain the best outcome.

Mistake #1: Being too Quick to Acknowledge Paternity
Some men have made an acknowledge of paternity in San Diego even if they seriously doubt the truth of the mother’s claim. Still others will knowingly falsify birth records, incorrectly assuming that if the relationship later ends, they can use the genetic truth to avoid further responsibility for child support. This can be done to keep the relationship with the mother on going and to avoid conflict and tension and for many other reasons.

Mistake #2: Waiting too Long to Ask for Paternity Testing
While paternity is usually established as a result of DNA testing, California does recognize several exceptions. One of those exceptions can occur when a man has accepted a child into his home and acknowledged a parent/child relationship. This can result in a long-term child support obligation even if there is no biological relationship. Many fathers do not know this and believe that, if they are no longer in the relationship and the DNA test shows that they are not the biological father, that they can then terminate the parent child relationship and stop seeing the child and stop paying support however this is not always true under San Diego paternity law.

Mistake #3: Delaying Bonding with Your Child Due to Doubts
For many single fathers, it is difficult to establish a bonding relationship with an infant, especially if they doubt their paternity. But delaying the establishment of the relationship can hinder the relationship in the future. The law only looks to the best interests of the child and factors such as stability and bonding are crucial when the parents cannot come to a parenting plan and the Court must order one. As such, staying away from your child due to not being sure this is your child is not a good strategy for the long term.

Mistake #4: Ducking Paternity
Many single fathers go to great efforts to duck paternity findings. Some common tactics include working under the table, skipping court-ordered hearings or testing appointments, and failing to exercise visitation rights with the child. The Court can order a judgment of paternity if there is a “default” and the father does not file the proper response and participate in the court proceedings.

Mistake #5: Agreeing to Higher than Guideline Support
While most support determinations are made according to established California guidelines in San Diego, another extreme is the father who agrees to a higher amount (usually in a misguided attempt to “prove” his love.) This usually results in at least two negative consequences: the father is unable to maintain the higher level and ultimately falls behind which results in resentment at best and legal consequences at worst. Often, there is no way to recover any payments above what would have been the court ordered amount.

Mistake # 6: Failing to Develop a Relationship With your Child
It is a known fact that children have a deep-seated emotional need to have both parents in their lives. A quality relationship takes time to develop. By the time your child is a teenager, it’s too late to fix a damaged parental relationship and this may occur much sooner than the teenage years.. Emotional damage can affect your child’s education, behavior, and lifetime mental and emotional health. This can also leave the father feeling “disenfranchised” which can lead to other issues.

Mistake #7: Not Obtaining Legal Advice in a Timely Manner
Paternity encompasses a number of legal and emotional issues that can have a dramatic long-term effect on your life. Making the wrong decision now could cost you thousands of dollars throughout the rest of your life.
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Is it possible to legally cancel a filed voluntary declaration of paternity? There are certain procedural requirements that must be met, and consulting a qualified San Diego divorce attorney as soon as possible in the process may be of critical importance in fulfilling those requirements.

As a general rule, cancellation must occur with 60 days of signing; must be done prior to a court order for custody, visitation, or child support; and must include written notice to the other parent. The official notarized cancellation form is CS 915, available online in both English and Spanish. The form includes instructions for filing the form.

The CS 915 form notes that filing the form will not serve to automatically remove your name from the child’s birth certificate. In order to remove the name from the birth certificate, you will need a court order and an amendment request to the State Bureau of Vital Records.

Cancelling the voluntary declaration may delay establishment of paternity; however, the court may still compel you to undergo scientific DNA testing to address the question of paternity. And once paternity is established, the support obligation may still be backdated, resulting in a significant support arrearage.

A legal action to establish paternity in California follows a typical procedure as follows: One party (the Petitioner) files a request with the court to establish paternity issues, usually including support, custody and visitation. The other party (the Respondent) has 30 days to file a written response. An initial hearing is then set to determine temporary orders pending final determination of facts. The court may order DNA testing in order to determine paternity.

In most cases, scientific proof that you are not the child’s biological father will result in the dismissal of the paternity action against you. One exception, however, may occur if you were married to the child’s mother and have accepted the child as your own for a significant period of time. In those cases, the court may rule that it is in the best interest of the child to establish you as the child’s legal parent. In this case, you will have all rights and responsibilities of parenthood. If the time period passes for the cancellation of the voluntary declaration of paternity this may also serve to allow the law to continue with the legal relationship despite the evidence to the contrary of biological parentage. In addition, if a motion is filed and a judgment entered as to parentage, it is possible to make a motion to set aside but {again} strict time lines and statutes apply.

While many voluntary declarations of paternity are established at or near birth and may involve infant children who have not yet established emotional bonds with fathers as closely as with mothers, developing a relationship with both parents is of long-term importance to a child’s well-being, even if the parents are no longer able to sustain an intimate relationship.
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