When a child is born during a marriage or a man demonstrates a commitment to a child he lives with, California law assumes the identity of the father. However, there are times when paternity isn't clear; in such cases, paternity must be established before custody, visitation or child support will be ordered.
First comes love, then comes marriage, then comes baby in a baby carriage. This sequence of events was once the "norm" in our society, and many continue to follow the traditional route. A growing number of couples, however, choose (or end up with) children before marriage. If these unwed couples break up, they face the same custody and visitation issues faced by married couples.