We've Written Extensively About California Paternity Issues - Click Here!
CALIFORNIA FAMILY CODE
CONFLICTING PRESUMPTIONS IN PATERNITY
Family Code Section 7612
(a) Except as provided in Chapter 1 (commencing with Section 7540) and
Chapter 3 (commencing with Section 7570) of Part 2, a presumption under
Section 7611 is a rebuttable presumption affecting the burden of proof
and may be rebutted in an appropriate action only by clear and convincing evidence.
(b) If two or more presumptions arise under Section 7611 that conflict
with each other, or if one or more presumptions under Section 7611 conflict
with a claim by a person identified as a genetic parent pursuant to Section
7555, the presumption that on the facts is founded on the weightier considerations
of policy and logic controls. If one of the presumed parents is also a
presumed parent under Section 7540, the presumption arising under Section
7540 may only be rebutted pursuant to Section 7541.
(c) In an appropriate action, a court may find that more than two persons
with a claim to parentage under this division are parents if the court
finds that recognizing only two parents would be detrimental to the child.
In determining detriment to the child, the court shall consider all relevant
factors, including, but not limited to, the harm of removing the child
from a stable placement with a parent who has fulfilled the child's
physical needs and the child's psychological needs for care and affection,
and who has assumed that role for a substantial period of time. A finding
of detriment to the child does not require a finding of unfitness of any
of the parents or persons with a claim to parentage.
(d) Unless a court orders otherwise after making the determination specified
in subdivision (c), a presumption under Section 7611 is rebutted by a
judgment establishing parentage of the child by another person.
(e) Within two years of the execution of a voluntary declaration of paternity,
a person who is presumed to be a parent under Section 7611 may file a
petition pursuant to Section 7630 to set aside a voluntary declaration
of paternity. The court's ruling on the petition to set aside the
voluntary declaration of paternity shall be made taking into account the
validity of the voluntary declaration of paternity, the best interests
of the child based upon the court's consideration of the factors set
forth in subdivision (b) of Section 7575, and the best interests of the
child based upon the nature, duration, and quality of the petitioning
party's relationship with the child and the benefit or detriment to
the child of continuing that relationship. In the event of a conflict
between the presumption under Section 7611 and the voluntary declaration
of paternity, the weightier considerations of policy and logic shall control.
(f) A voluntary declaration of paternity is invalid if, at the time the
declaration was signed, any of the following conditions exist:
(1) The child already had a presumed parent under Section 7540.
(2) The child already had a presumed parent under subdivision (a), (b),
or (c) of Section 7611.
(3) The man signing the declaration is a sperm donor, consistent with subdivision
(b) of Section 7613.
(g) A person's offer or refusal to sign a voluntary declaration of
paternity may be considered as a factor, but shall not be determinative,
as to the issue of legal parentage in any proceedings regarding the establishment
or termination of parental rights.
(h) This section shall remain in effect only until January 1, 2020, and
as of that date is repealed.