When two unmarried individuals have a child together, there is a common misconception that the father will automatically have parental rights to the child.  However, as shocking as it may be, a father who is not married to the mother of the child is not the legal father and does not have any legal rights or responsibilities to the child until parentage is established.  Under California law, if you have children and are not married to the other parent, you must establish parentage before custody, visitation or child support can be ordered by the court.  There are two common ways in which you can establish parentage legally.  First, the parties can sign a voluntary declaration of paternity.  Second, you can file a parentage action in court where you can request genetic testing to determine paternity.

It is very beneficial to establish parentage, because once you have done so, the court can make orders for child support, health insurance, child custody, visitation, name change, and reimbursement of pregnancy and birth expenses.

If you are faced with a parentage or paternity issue, our attorneys at Higbee & Associates are available to help you, regardless of whether you are the mother or father of the child.  Our representation aims to protect and advocate for your legal rights and your child’s best interests.



Adoption is the legal process of establishing a legal parent-child relationship when the adopting parent is not the child’s biological or birth parent.  Once the process of adoption is complete, the adopted parents will have all of the legal rights and responsibilities of the child’s biological parents and the biological parents’ rights will be permanently ended.  Our attorneys at Higbee & Associates are compassionate and sensitive to your specific needs and are prepared to help you.



A guardianship is a legal proceeding where the court appoints an individual, who is someone other than the child’s parent, to have custody of the child or manage the child’s property, or both.  Unlike an adoption proceeding, if a guardian is appointed for the child, the parents of the child will retain their legal parental rights.  A guardian can be anyone; a relative of the child, friends of the family, or other people suitable to raise the child can ask to be legal guardians.  Please contact our attorneys to assist you with your guardianship issue.


Contact Higbee & Associates

To speak with an attorney at Higbee & Associates about your family law matter, call (714) 617-8383, or contact the firm online.

Thousands of people have come to Higbee & Associates because of the affordable prices, which are typically 35% less than what most attorneys charge.  However, it is the level of service and successful results that keeps clients coming back and referring their friends and family.  Higbee & Associates has earned customer service awards and “A+” ratings from the Better Business Bureau because we are willing to go the extra-mile to help you during difficult times.  It begins with making ourselves available at times that are convenient for you, including Saturdays and outside of normal business hours.  We also eliminate the risk by making the initial consultation free and with no obligation.  We can also meet you in any of our five Southern California offices.  Contact us today and see why our clients love working with us.