Scott v Superior Court states at page 544 "There can be only two parents, not three." Accordingly the appellate court in Lauren W. v Brent A. (Court of Appeals California, Fourth District, Division Three) ended the game of musical chairs allowing Brent and Lauren to have a seat and told Kevin that he had to leave the party. You can read the case here. (This is an unpublished case and may not be cited as legal authority in a courtroom; however it is educational as to issues of child custody rights and standing to sue for custody or visitation pursuant to the laws of the State of California.) This is actually the end of the story. Here is how the appellate court got to this point. Lauren gave birth to (child) and filed a petition under the UPA (Uniform Parentage Act) naming Brent as the Father. Brent responded, acknowledged that he was the child's Father (he had signed a declaration of paternity) and requested visitation. The parties agreed to visitation and a court order was entered finding Lauren was mom; Brent was dad and adopting the agreed upon visitation schedule. Shortly thereafter, Kevin filed a joinder motion (motion seeking to join the Lauren and Brent UPA case so that he could assert his parenting rights to the child. Kevin's joinder motion was granted so now the paternity, child custody, visitation case included one mom and two men claiming to be dad. A trial court issued an order finding Kevin to be the "legal father". The appellate court stepped in at this point. As a San Diego Certified Family Law Specialist attorney, my office works exclusively in the law field known as Family Law. It is our goal to correctly analyze legal cases as to divorce, paternity, child custody, custody move away cases and other areas of family law. It is our goal to assist the trial court to reach a proper legal analysis of a case so that a proper order is entered at the trial level. This case is a good example of how a flawed analysis can lead to confusion and appeal. Next you will see how the appellate court resolved this matter.
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