2011 California Code
DIVISION 12. PARENT AND CHILD RELATIONSHIP [7500 - 7961]
CHAPTER 3. Establishment of Paternity by Voluntary Declaration
(a) Either parent may rescind the voluntary declaration of paternity by filing a rescission form with the Department of Child Support Services within 60 days of the date of execution of the declaration by the attesting father or attesting mother, whichever signature is later, unless a court order for custody, visitation, or child support has been entered in an action in which the signatory seeking to rescind was a party. The Department of Child Support Services shall develop a form to be used by parents to rescind the declaration of paternity and instruction on how to complete and file the rescission with the Department of Child Support Services. The form shall include a declaration under penalty of perjury completed by the person filing the rescission form that certifies that a copy of the rescission form was sent by any form of mail requiring a return receipt to the other person who signed the voluntary declaration of paternity. A copy of the return receipt shall be attached to the rescission form when filed with the Department of Child Support Services. The form and instructions shall be written in simple, easy to understand language and shall be made available at the local family support office and the office of local registrar of births and deaths. The department shall, upon written request, provide to a court or commissioner a copy of any rescission form filed with the department that is relevant to proceedings before the court or commissioner.
(b) (1) Notwithstanding Section 7573, if the court finds that the conclusions of all of the experts based upon the results of the genetic tests performed pursuant to Chapter 2 (commencing with Section 7550) are that the man who signed the voluntary declaration is not the father of the child, the court may set aside the voluntary declaration of paternity unless the court determines that denial of the action to set aside the voluntary declaration of paternity is in the best interest of the child, after consideration of all of the following factors:
(A) The age of the child.
(B) The length of time since the execution of the voluntary declaration of paternity by the man who signed the voluntary declaration.
(C) The nature, duration, and quality of any relationship between the man who signed the voluntary declaration and the child, including the duration and frequency of any time periods during which the child and the man who signed the voluntary declaration resided in the same household or enjoyed a parent-child relationship.
(D) The request of the man who signed the voluntary declaration that the parent-child relationship continue.
(E) Notice by the biological father of the child that he does not oppose preservation of the relationship between the man who signed the voluntary declaration and the child.
(F) The benefit or detriment to the child in establishing the biological parentage of the child.
(G) Whether the conduct of the man who signed the voluntary declaration has impaired the ability to ascertain the identity of, or get support from, the biological father.
(H) Additional factors deemed by the court to be relevant to its determination of the best interest of the child.
(2) If the court denies the action, the court shall state on the record the basis for the denial of the action and any supporting facts.
(3) (A) The notice of motion for genetic tests under this section may be filed not later than two years from the date of the child s birth by a local child support agency, the mother, the man who signed the voluntary declaration as the child s father, or in an action to determine the existence or nonexistence of the father and child relationship pursuant to Section 7630 or in any action to establish an order for child custody, visitation, or child support based upon the voluntary declaration of paternity.
(B) The local child support agency s authority under this subdivision is limited to those circumstances where there is a conflict between a voluntary acknowledgment of paternity and a judgment of paternity or a conflict between two or more voluntary acknowledgments of paternity.
(4) The notice of motion for genetic tests pursuant to this section shall be supported by a declaration under oath submitted by the moving party stating the factual basis for putting the issue of paternity before the court.
(c) (1) Nothing in this chapter shall be construed to prejudice or bar the rights of either parent to file an action or motion to set aside the voluntary declaration of paternity on any of the grounds described in, and within the time limits specified in, Section 473 of the Code of Civil Procedure. If the action or motion to set aside a judgment is required to be filed within a specified time period under Section 473 of the Code of Civil Procedure, the period within which the action or motion to set aside the voluntary declaration of paternity must be filed shall commence on the date that the court makes an initial order for custody, visitation, or child support based upon a voluntary declaration of paternity.
(2) The parent or local child support agency seeking to set aside the voluntary declaration of paternity shall have the burden of proof.
(3) Any order for custody, visitation, or child support shall remain in effect until the court determines that the voluntary declaration of paternity should be set aside, subject to the court s power to modify the orders as otherwise provided by law.
(4) Nothing in this section is intended to restrict a court from acting as a court of equity.
(5) If the voluntary declaration of paternity is set aside pursuant to paragraph (1), the court shall order that the mother, child, and alleged father submit to genetic tests pursuant to Chapter 2 (commencing with Section 7550). If the court finds that the conclusions of all the experts, as disclosed by the evidence based upon the genetic tests, are that the person who executed the voluntary declaration of paternity is not the father of the child, the question of paternity shall be resolved accordingly. If the person who executed the declaration as the father of the child is not excluded as a possible father, the question of paternity shall be resolved as otherwise provided by law. If the person who executed the declaration of paternity is ultimately determined to be the father of the child, any child support that accrued under an order based upon the voluntary declaration of paternity shall remain due and owing.
(6) The Judicial Council shall develop the forms and procedures necessary to effectuate this subdivision.
(Amended by Stats. 2004, Ch. 849, Sec. 1. Effective January 1, 2005.)
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