For children in Orange County, California that were conceived during marriage, parental roles and responsibilities for the child are established. Even if the parents eventually divorce, the court has a clear-cut way to determine financial divorce issues, such as child support. It is a different story when a child is born to unmarried parents because the child's legal relationship is only established with the mother. For these kinds of cases, fathers are most likely the parent who would be paying child support; so establishing paternity is an important step.
Although paternity is defined as the process to determine the legal father of a child, it is also a big factor in the lives of many children with unmarried parents. Distinguishing the legal relationship of a man to a child leads to establishing parental rights and responsibilities of a father.