When you are embroiled in a divorce and there are children involved, you have to deal with issues of child support. California has rules and regulations that deal with this. These laws are in place to make sure the child is well cared for and has what is needed.
If you aren't sure who the father is, or if you know and haven't had it proven, that is your natural first step. You cannot receive child support unless the father has been proven and to discover the legal determination of who the child belongs to.
If your baby's father leaves the state of California before a DNA test can be taken and he cannot be proven to be the father by DNA testing, there is still action that can be taken. Your attorney can bring before the court information that you have regarding paternity even without him being present.
If paternity can be established without his cooperation, the state can order him to pay child support even if he doesn't reside in California.
Just because the man who fathered your child doesn't have a job or money and cannot provide any support, it is still important to establish his parenthood. Eventually, he will get a job. He may even be able to provide health insurance to the child. Don't write off paternity until you have talked to an experienced attorney.
You can begin the process of establishing paternity even before your baby is born. Your attorney can assist you in opening and pursuing a case immediately. If you think that you are sure who the father is, getting a genetic test once the baby is born is an important first step.
Calling in a knowledgeable lawyer can ease the burden placed on you. Your energy needs to be towards the baby, not to a court case.
Source: California Department of Child Support Services, "Establishing Paternity (Fatherhood) FAQs," accessed June 15, 2015