Code Section Group

Family Code - FAM

DIVISION 12. PARENT AND CHILD RELATIONSHIP [7500 - 7961]

  ( Division 12 enacted by Stats. 1992, Ch. 162, Sec. 10. )

PART 3. UNIFORM PARENTAGE ACT [7600 - 7730]

  ( Part 3 enacted by Stats. 1992, Ch. 162, Sec. 10. )

CHAPTER 4. Determination of Parent and Child Relationship [7630 - 7650]

  ( Chapter 4 enacted by Stats. 1992, Ch. 162, Sec. 10. )

ARTICLE 1. Determination of Parent and Child Relationship [7630 - 7644]
  ( Heading of Article 1 amended by Stats. 2018, Ch. 876, Sec. 50. )

7630.
  

(a) A child, the child’s natural mother, a person presumed to be the child’s parent under subdivision (a), (b), or (c) of Section 7611, a person seeking to be adjudicated as a parent or donor under Section 7613, an adoption agency to whom the child has been relinquished, or a prospective adoptive parent of the child may bring an action as follows:

(1) At any time for the purpose of declaring the existence of the parent and child relationship presumed under subdivision (a), (b), or (c) of Section 7611, or established pursuant to Section 7613.

(2) For the purpose of declaring the nonexistence of the parent and child relationship presumed under subdivision (a), (b), or (c) of Section 7611 only if the action is brought within a reasonable time after obtaining knowledge of relevant facts. After the presumption has been rebutted, parentage of the child by another person may be determined in the same action, if that person has been made a party.

(3) At any time for the purpose of declaring the nonexistence of the parent and child relationship of a donor under Section 7613.

(b) Any interested party may bring an action at any time for the purpose of determining the existence or nonexistence of the parent and child relationship presumed under subdivision (d) or (f) of Section 7611.

(c) Except as to cases coming within Chapter 1 (commencing with Section 7540) of Part 2 or when paragraph (2) of subdivision (a) applies, an action to determine parentage may be brought by the child, a personal representative of the child, the Department of Child Support Services, a presumed parent or the personal representative or a parent of that presumed parent if that parent has died or is a minor, or, in cases in which the natural mother is the only presumed parent or an action under Section 300 of the Welfare and Institutions Code or adoption is pending, a man alleged or alleging himself to be the father or the personal representative or a parent of the alleged father if the alleged father has died or is a minor.

(d) (1) If a proceeding has been filed under Chapter 2 (commencing with Section 7820) of Part 4, an action under subdivision (a) or (b) shall be consolidated with that proceeding. The parental rights of the presumed parent shall be determined as set forth in Sections 7820 to 7829, inclusive.

(2) If a proceeding pursuant to Section 7662 has been filed under Chapter 5 (commencing with Section 7660), an action under subdivision (c) shall be consolidated with that proceeding. The parental rights of the alleged father shall be determined as set forth in Section 7664.

(3) The consolidated action under paragraph (1) or (2) shall be heard in the court in which the proceeding under Section 7662 or Chapter 2 (commencing with Section 7820) of Part 4 is filed, unless the court finds, by clear and convincing evidence, that transferring the action to the other court poses a substantial hardship to the petitioner. Mere inconvenience does not constitute a sufficient basis for a finding of substantial hardship. If the court determines there is a substantial hardship, the consolidated action shall be heard in the court in which the parentage action is filed.

(e) (1) If any prospective adoptive parent who has physical custody of the child, any licensed California adoption agency that has legal custody of the child or to which the mother proposes to relinquish the child for adoption, or any person whom the mother has designated as the prospective adoptive parent in a written statement executed before a hospital social worker, an adoption service provider, an adoption agency representative, or a notary public, has not been joined as a party to an action to determine the existence of a parent and child relationship under subdivision (a), (b), or (c), or an action for custody by a person claiming to be a parent under this division, the court shall join the prospective adoptive parent or licensed California adoption agency as a party upon application or on its own motion, without the necessity of a motion for joinder. A joined party shall not be required to pay a fee in connection with this action.

(2) If a person brings an action to determine parentage and custody of a child who he or she has reason to believe is in the physical or legal custody of an adoption agency, or of one or more persons other than the child’s parent who are prospective adoptive parents, he or she shall serve his or her entire pleading on, and give notice of all proceedings to, the adoption agency or the prospective adoptive parents, or both.

(f) A party to an assisted reproduction agreement may bring an action at any time to establish a parent and child relationship consistent with the intent expressed in that assisted reproduction agreement.

(g) (1) In an action to determine the existence of the parent and child relationship brought pursuant to subdivision (b), if the child’s other parent has died and there are no existing court orders or pending court actions involving custody or guardianship of the child, then the persons having physical custody of the child shall be served with notice of the proceeding at least 15 days prior to the hearing, either by mail or in any manner authorized by the court. If any person identified as having physical custody of the child cannot be located, the court shall prescribe the manner of giving notice.

(2) If known to the person bringing the parentage action, relatives within the second degree of the child shall be given notice of the proceeding at least 15 days prior to the hearing, either by mail or in any manner authorized by the court. If a person identified as a relative of the second degree of the child cannot be located, or his or her whereabouts are unknown or cannot be ascertained, the court shall prescribe the manner of giving notice, or shall dispense with giving notice to that person.

(3) Proof of notice pursuant to this subdivision shall be filed with the court before the proceeding to determine the existence of the parent and child relationship is heard.

(Amended by Stats. 2018, Ch. 876, Sec. 51. (AB 2684) Effective January 1, 2019.)

7632.
  

Regardless of its terms, an agreement between an alleged father or a presumed parent and the other parent or child does not bar an action under this chapter.

(Amended by Stats. 2013, Ch. 510, Sec. 9. (AB 1403) Effective January 1, 2014.)

7633.
  

An action under this chapter may be brought, an order or judgment may be entered before the birth of the child, and enforcement of that order or judgment shall be stayed until the birth of the child.

(Amended by Stats. 2006, Ch. 806, Sec. 4. Effective January 1, 2007.)

7634.
  

(a) The local child support agency may, in the local child support agency’s discretion, bring an action under this chapter in any case in which the local child support agency believes it to be appropriate.

(b) The Department of Child Support Services may review the current practices of service of process used by the local child support agencies pursuant to subdivision (a), and may develop methods to increase the number of persons served using personal delivery.

(Amended by Stats. 2004, Ch. 849, Sec. 2. Effective January 1, 2005.)

7635.
  

(a) The child may, if under the age of 12 years, and shall, if 12 years of age or older, be made a party to the action. If the child is a minor and a party to the action, the child shall be represented by a guardian ad litem appointed by the court. The guardian ad litem need not be represented by counsel if the guardian ad litem is a relative of the child.

(b) A natural parent, each person presumed to be a parent under Section 7611 or 7540, each person who is a parent of the child under Section 7613 or 7962, and each person alleged to be the genetic parent unless precluded under this division from establishing parentage based on genetic testing, shall be given notice of the action in the manner prescribed in Section 7666 and an opportunity to be heard, and shall be made a party if they request to be joined. Appointment of a guardian ad litem shall not be required for a minor who is a parent of the child who is the subject of the petition to establish parental relationship, unless the minor parent is unable to understand the nature of the proceedings or to assist counsel in preparing the case.

(c) The court may align the parties.

(d) In any initial or subsequent proceeding under this chapter where custody of, or visitation with, a minor child is in issue, the court may, if it determines it would be in the best interest of the minor child, appoint private counsel to represent the interests of the minor child pursuant to Chapter 10 (commencing with Section 3150) of Part 2 of Division 8.

(Amended by Stats. 2018, Ch. 876, Sec. 52. (AB 2684) Effective January 1, 2019.)

7635.5.
  

In any action brought pursuant to this article, if the alleged father is present in court for the action, the court shall inform the alleged father of his right to have genetic testing performed to determine if he is the biological father of the child. The court shall further inform the alleged father of his right to move to set aside or vacate a judgment of paternity pursuant to Section 7646 within two years of the date he received notice of the action to establish paternity, and that after that time has expired he may not move to set aside or vacate the judgment of paternity, regardless of whether genetic testing shows him not to be the biological father of the child.

(Added by Stats. 2004, Ch. 849, Sec. 3. Effective January 1, 2005.)

7636.
  

The judgment or order of the court determining the existence or nonexistence of the parent and child relationship is determinative for all purposes except for actions brought pursuant to Section 270 of the Penal Code.

(Enacted by Stats. 1992, Ch. 162, Sec. 10. Operative January 1, 1994.)

7637.
  

The judgment or order may contain any other provision directed against the appropriate party to the proceeding, concerning the duty of support, the custody and guardianship of the child, visitation privileges with the child, the furnishing of bond or other security for the payment of the judgment, or any other matter in the best interest of the child. The judgment or order may direct the parent to pay the reasonable expenses of the mother’s pregnancy and confinement.

(Amended by Stats. 2013, Ch. 510, Sec. 11. (AB 1403) Effective January 1, 2014.)

7638.
  

The procedure in an action under this part to change the name of a minor or adult child for whom a parent and child relationship is established pursuant to Section 7636, upon application in accordance with Title 8 (commencing with Section 1275) of Part 3 of the Code of Civil Procedure shall conform to those provisions, except that the application for the change of name may be included with the petition filed under this part and except as provided in Sections 1277 and 1278 of the Code of Civil Procedure.

(Enacted by Stats. 1992, Ch. 162, Sec. 10. Operative January 1, 1994.)

7639.
  

If the judgment or order of the court is at variance with the child’s birth certificate, the court shall order that a new birth certificate be issued as prescribed in Article 2 (commencing with Section 102725) of Chapter 5 of Part 1 of Division 102 of the Health and Safety Code.

(Amended by Stats. 1996, Ch. 1023, Sec. 48. Effective September 29, 1996.)

7640.
  

The court may order reasonable fees of counsel, experts, and the child’s guardian ad litem, and other costs of the action and pretrial proceedings, including genetic testing, to be paid by the parties, excluding any governmental entity, in proportions and at times determined by the court. The court may apply the standards set forth in Sections 2032 and 7605 in making this determination.

(Amended by Stats. 2018, Ch. 876, Sec. 53. (AB 2684) Effective January 1, 2019.)

7641.
  

(a) If there is a voluntary declaration of paternity in place, or parentage or a duty of support has been acknowledged or adjudicated under this part or under prior law, the obligation of the parent may be enforced in the same or other proceedings by any of the following:

(1) The other parent.

(2) The child.

(3) The public authority that has furnished or may furnish the reasonable expenses of pregnancy, confinement, education, support, or funeral.

(4) Any other person, including a private agency, to the extent the person has furnished or is furnishing these expenses.

(b) The court may order support payments to be made to any of the following:

(1) The other parent.

(2) The clerk of the court.

(3) A person, corporation, or agency designated to administer the payments for the benefit of the child under the supervision of the court.

(c) Willful failure to obey the judgment or order of the court is a civil contempt of the court. All remedies for the enforcement of judgments, including imprisonment for contempt, apply.

(Amended by Stats. 2013, Ch. 510, Sec. 12. (AB 1403) Effective January 1, 2014.)

7642.
  

The court has continuing jurisdiction to modify or set aside a judgment or order made under this part. A judgment or order relating to an adoption may only be modified or set aside in the same manner and under the same conditions as an order of adoption may be modified or set aside under Section 9100 or 9102.

(Amended by Stats. 1999, Ch. 653, Sec. 11. Effective January 1, 2000.)

7643.
  

(a) Notwithstanding any other law concerning public hearings and records, a hearing or trial held under this part may be held in closed court without admittance of any person other than those necessary to the action or proceeding. Except as provided in subdivision (b), all papers and records, other than the final judgment, pertaining to the action or proceeding, whether part of the permanent record of the court or of a file in a public agency or elsewhere, are subject to inspection and copying only in exceptional cases upon an order of the court for good cause shown.

(b) (1) Papers and records pertaining to the action or proceeding that are part of the permanent record of the court are subject to inspection and copying by the parties to the action, their attorneys, and by agents acting pursuant to written authorization from the parties to the action or their attorneys. An attorney shall obtain the consent of the party to the action prior to authorizing an agent to inspect and copy the permanent record. An attorney shall also state on the written authorization that he or she has obtained the consent of the party to authorize an agent to inspect and copy the permanent record.

(2) For purposes of establishing parentage and establishing and enforcing child support orders, papers and records pertaining to the action or proceeding that are part of the permanent record of the court are subject to inspection and copying by any local child support agency, as defined in subdivision (h) of Section 17000.

(Amended by Stats. 2018, Ch. 504, Sec. 4. (AB 3248) Effective January 1, 2019.)

7644.
  

(a) Notwithstanding any other law, an action for child custody and support and for other relief as provided in Section 7637 may be filed based upon a voluntary declaration of paternity as provided in Chapter 3 (commencing with Section 7570) of Part 2.

(b) Except as provided in Section 7576, the voluntary declaration of paternity shall be given the same force and effect as a judgment of parentage entered by a court of competent jurisdiction. The court shall make appropriate orders as specified in Section 7637 based upon the voluntary declaration of paternity unless evidence is presented that the voluntary declaration of paternity has been rescinded by the parties or set aside as provided in Section 7575 of the Family Code.

(c) The Judicial Council shall develop the forms and procedures necessary to implement this section.

(d) This section shall remain in effect only until January 1, 2020, and as of that date is repealed.

(Amended by Stats. 2018, Ch. 876, Sec. 54. (AB 2684) Effective January 1, 2019. Repealed as of January 1, 2020, by its own provisions. See later operative version added by Stats. 2018, Ch. 876.)

7644.
  

(a) Notwithstanding any other law, an action for child custody and support and for other relief as provided in Section 7637 may be filed based upon a voluntary declaration of parentage as provided in Chapter 3 (commencing with Section 7570) of Part 2.

(b) Except as provided in Section 7581, the voluntary declaration of parentage shall be given the same force and effect as a judgment of parentage entered by a court of competent jurisdiction. The court shall make appropriate orders as specified in Section 7637 based upon the voluntary declaration of parentage unless evidence is presented that the voluntary declaration of parentage has been rescinded by the parties, set aside as provided in Section 7575, 7576, or 7577, or is void under Section 7573.5.

(c) The Judicial Council shall develop the forms and procedures necessary to implement this section.

(d) This section shall become operative on January 1, 2020.

(Repealed and added by Stats. 2018, Ch. 876, Sec. 55. (AB 2684) Effective January 1, 2019. Section operative January 1, 2020, by its own provisions.)

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