Child Custody and Parentage by Estoppel

At Orange County Law Office of David P Schwarz we have handled many parentage by estoppel case in child custody court. Please contact our office at 949 735 9266 or via the web. We can also be reached email at

A child custody lawyer will help you in a child support case where In certain narrow circumstances, one may be required to pay child support as a “putative parent” based on the equitable doctrine of “parentage by estoppel.” This doctrine has typically been invoked to hold a stepparent liable for child support even after the biological parent-stepparent marriage is dissolved.

A Child custody attorney will argue to the family law court that parentage by estoppel determination requires the court to find all of the following; 1) The party to be estopped knew he was not the child's biological father, Notwithstanding his knowledge of nonparentage, 2) the party represented to the child that he was the child's true parent, intending the child to rely on that representation; and 3) The child, ignorant of the true facts, relied upon that representation and treated the party as a natural parent, giving him the love and affection of a natural parent.

A Long-term parent-child relationship is required. The alleged parent's representation to the child of a “true” parent-child relationship “must be of such long continuance that it frustrates the realistic opportunity of discovering the natural [parent] and truly establishes the [parent-child] relationship of the putative [parent] and the child.” Parentage by estoppel cannot rest on a “relationship of some passing days.” Thus the new nonbiological parent is virtually the parent for intensive purposes.

At the Law office of David P Schwarz will make sure that no parentage by estoppel occurs against an alleged parent who is unaware of the true facts. The parentage by estoppel doctrine will not be applied to an individual who acted without knowledge he was not truly the child's biological parent.

An Orange County child custody lawyer can also apply “reverse estoppel” against biological father seeking to establish paternity. In an appropriate case, an estoppel may also work in the reverse against a biological father seeking to confirm paternity. Invoking “equitable estoppel,” the court may deny paternity rights to a father who has all along told the child he was not the child's natural father and that another man was, and where, relying on those representations, the child and other man formed strong family bonds.

Except where the facts support a parentage by estoppel determination, stepchildren have no support rights against their stepparents based solely on the fact of a stepparent-child relationship.

In addition grandchildren are unable to attempt to get grandparents to pay for child support. Except if the grandparent steps in for court ordered visitation.

At the Law office of David P Schwarz we have handle numerous estoppel by parentage child custody cases in Orange County superior Court. Please contact our office at 949 735 9266 or via the web. We can also be reached by email at

Client Reviews
David is an excellent attorney!!!!!!! He gives 100% to his clients. I highly recommend him for your legal needs, in his expertise. He has been most patient, gracious, thorough, and always gets right back to you. Thank you so much for your excellent service!!!!! L.H.
David knocked it out of the park today. He was clear, passionate, articulate, and a good mix of calmness with pissed off. Best I've ever seen him. David - Love ya man. Thanks. C.P.
I have referred several of my friends and relatives who needed representation in family court to David. From prenuptial agreements to divorce to child custody, David is the go-to guy. He is a seasoned attorney who knows what he's doing, and so far, I've only heard good things about him. C.G.