(510) 835-9000


A paternity action is required to legally recognize parental rights of unmarried persons, to establish enforceable custody and visitation schedules, and to ensure that a child receives financial support from both parents. Without a Judgment of Paternity or a Declaration of Paternity, a person may permanently lose any legal standing as a child’s parent and/or a child may go without support. Once paternity is established, a paternity action is similar to a divorce case with regard to how custody and support decisions are determined. In paternity as in divorce, custody is determined based on the best interest of the child. In paternity, as in divorce, child support is determined by use of the statewide guideline calculations. As a result of the sensitive nature of many paternity cases, unlike in a divorce action, paternity pleadings (case documents) are not available to the public.

COVID-19 Update: Ford Family Law is fully operating during the COVID-19 crisis, and we are here to help our current clients and new clients during this time. For the safety of our employees, we are all working remotely from home and using Zoom, Teams, and other technologies to conduct telephone and video meetings and conferences. We are also proceeding with depositions and mediations using these technologies, where possible. Please do not send us any mail via USPS or overnight delivery until further notice. Please email or call us instead. Thank you.