Paternity Law

What Is Paternity Law?

A paternity action allows a person to secure child support, custody, visitation rights, and child support for a child born to unwed persons or persons in a same sex relationship. A paternity action establishes the legal parentage of the child. Generally, the parties can agree to parentage of a child. However, if the parties cannot agree on parentage, the Court can order DNA genetic testing to determine who is the biological parent of the child in question. Once parentage is established, the court can make orders regarding that child as to custody and visitation rights and hold a parent responsible for paying child support.

Our Approach to Paternity Law

Although paternity appears relatively straight forward, paternity laws are constantly evolving and even a non-biological parent or a same sex parent may be determined to be the legal parent of a child and have parental rights and responsibilities. At Gilligan, Frisco & Trutanich & Davidson, LLP, we have represented clients on both sides of the parentage issue and are knowledgeable about all of the ramifications such parentage determinations may involve.

At Gilligan, Frisco & Trutanich, LLP, we recognize that family law cases involve sensitive issues and can be emotionally draining on the client. As one of the largest family law firms in Southern California, Gilligan, Frisco & Trutanich, LLP has the dedication and experience required to handle every type of family law matter.

How Paternity Cases re Determined

Establishing paternity means that the courts have officially decided who a child’s father is. This affects parents who are unmarried when a child is born and also same-sex couples. Taking a DNA test is the easiest way to establish your parentage of a child. When a person is declared the legal parent of a child, that person must financially support them.

Specializing in complex family matters, GFT has a staff of eight experienced attorneys. Combining top-notch litigators with experts in non-litigation alternatives, GFT emerges as one of the most well-rounded firms in the family law practice area in Southern California. We are dedicated to providing our clients the highest quality legal service to effectively represent them. From litigation to mediation to collaborative divorce, GFT has a proven track record of favorably resolving cases through skilled representation and strong advocacy.

FAQs About Paternity Cases

Our Family & Criminal Law Attorneys

When you’re going through a tough time, you need a full team on your side. Our five-attorney firm has all of the resources to attend to our clients' needs.

100+ Years Collective Experience

Our Family Law Firm's History

Gilligan, Frisco & Trutanich, LLP, was co-founded by John J. Gilligan, who has been practicing family law in Long Beach since 1981. Janine M. Frisco is also a partner, as is Kristin Trutanich. Together, they are the area’s most comprehensive legal stronghold.

GFT has helped individuals and their families surmount their legal difficulties for the past several decades. We are proud to serve Southern California, and have the dedication and experience required to handle every type of issue.

The Team of Attorneys You’ve Been Looking For

Our experienced team of professionals will guide you through life’s murkiest waters. At Gilligan, Frisco & Trutanich, LLP, we have the resources needed to represent clients in all aspects of family and criminal law.

Contact Us


We have two offices conveniently located in Long Beach & Palos Verdes. We represent clients in courts throughout Los Angeles, Orange, and Riverside counties.