How can I get visitation rights if the other parent and I have never been married?
In California the child of a wife cohabiting with her husband, who is not impotent or sterile, is conclusively presumed to be a child of the marriage. (California Family Code Section 7541).
If the child is born to the parents who are not married, paternity can be established in two ways 1) by signing a Declaration of Paternity or 2) by filing a Paternity Action with the Family Court.
For more information pertaining to the Declaration of Paternity visit: www.childsup.ca.gov/resources/establishpaternity/fileadeclarationofpaternity.aspx
Cases Involving Biological Children
Either parent can file Paternity Action. Usually mothers do it in order to seek child support and fathers file these actions to seek child visitation.
If the mother does not object to the action and admits in court that the man is the father, no DNA test will be ordered by the court. DNA test is only ordered when one of the parent’s disputes the man being a biological father.
Cases Involving Non-Biological Children
Pursuant to Family Code Section 7611(d), “a person is presumed to be the natural parent of a child if the person meets the conditions…in any of the following subdivisions…(d) The presumed parent receives the child into his or her home and openly holds out the child as his or her natural child.” This code section applies to the same sex couples as well.