If you do not believe a person is the biological father, you must request a paternity test as quickly as possible. We, as Santa Barbara Child Custody Lawyers, recommend you did it immediately, but definitely not later than two years after (1) signing the voluntary declaration of paternity (might be at hospital after the baby was born; or (2) two years after the father knew or should have known about a paternity issue.
Below is California Family Code § 7646, which provides the timing rules for requesting a paternity test:
(a) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, a judgment establishing paternity may be set aside or vacated upon a motion by the previously established mother of a child, the previously established father of a child, the child, or the legal representative of any of these persons if genetic testing indicates that the previously established father of a child is not the biological father of the child. The motion shall be brought within one of the following time periods:
(1) Within a two-year period commencing with the date on which the previously established father knew or should have known of a judgment that established him as the father of the child or commencing with the date the previously established father knew or should have known of the existence of an action to adjudicate the issue of paternity, whichever is first, except as provided in paragraph (2) or (3) of this subdivision.
(2) Within a two-year period commencing with the date of the child's birth if paternity was established by a voluntary declaration of paternity. Nothing in this paragraph shall bar any rights under subdivision (c) of Section 7575.
(3) In the case of any previously established father who is the legal father as a result of a default judgment as of the effective date of this section, within a two-year period from January 1, 2005, to December 31, 2006, inclusive.
(b) Subdivision (a) does not apply if the child is presumed to be a child of a marriage pursuant to. Section 7540.
(c) Reconsideration of a motion brought under paragraph (3) of subdivision (a) may be requested and granted if the following requirements are met:
(1) The motion was filed with the court between September 24, 2006, and December 31, 2006, inclusive.
(2) The motion was denied solely on the basis that it was untimely.
(3) The request for reconsideration of the motion is filed on or before December 31, 2009.
If you need a paternity test in Santa Barbara, speak to our child custody lawyers at Morales Law for a consultation. (805) 422-7966