Victorville, CA asked in Family Law and Adoption for California

Q: How do I share custody with the man who has been the father to my adopted kids and add his name to their birth certs?

We are common law spouses and the children have and will continue to have my last name. We want to add his name under father on their birth certificates.

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2 Lawyer Answers
Steven Lance Bynum
Steven Lance Bynum
  • Family Law Lawyer
  • Bakersfield, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: 1. Common Law spouse is not recognized in California.

2. You can't just unilaterally add a man to the father's position on the birth certificate.

You will need to go through a stepparent adoption if you are married. Otherwise its an independent adoption and termination of the biological father's parental rights.

James L. Arrasmith
James L. Arrasmith pro label Lawyers, want to be a Justia Connect Pro too? Learn more ›
  • Family Law Lawyer
  • Sacramento, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: To add your partner's name to your children's birth certificates in California, you will need to take the following steps:

Obtain a Voluntary Declaration of Parentage form: This is a form that establishes the legal relationship between a parent and a child. You can get this form from the hospital where the children were born or from the California Department of Child Support Services.

Fill out the form: You and your partner will need to complete the form together. You will need to provide information such as your names, addresses, and social security numbers.

Sign the form: You and your partner will need to sign the form in front of a notary public or witness who can verify your signatures.

File the form with the California Department of Child Support Services: Once the form is completed and signed, you will need to file it with the California Department of Child Support Services. They will review the form and, if everything is in order, add your partner's name to the birth certificates.

Establish a custody agreement: If you and your partner are separating or have separated, you will need to establish a custody agreement for the children. You can work with a mediator or an attorney to help you reach an agreement that works for everyone.

It's important to note that California does not recognize common law marriages. However, you can establish your partner's legal relationship with your children through the Voluntary Declaration of Parentage form.

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