How to establish paternity in Texas
People often want to establish paternity for one of two reasons: to establish their parental rights or to enforce the other parent’s child support obligation under the law. The process is very much the same for both scenarios under Texas law.
The first and easiest way to establish paternity is Texas is with an agreement by both parents. Unfortunately, though, many of the cases we handle don’t involve agreement. One of the parents — either the mother or the father — typically has to ask for paternity to be ordered by the court.
After a paternity case is filed with the court, a DNA test can be ordered to determine whether a father is biologically related to the child. If it is determined that a man is the biological father of the child, the father can begin seeking custody rights, and the father’s obligation to financially support the child also begins.
In addition to the mother or probable father filing a paternity suit, the child or a government agency can also ask paternity to be established. The suit can be filed before the child is born or up until two years after the child turns 18.
Paternity cases are often emotional and result in a major impact on all of the lives involved, which is why it is important to have an experienced family law attorney assist in the process. Our firm takes an efficient and cost-effective approach to these cases so that the truth can come out in and everyone can move forward with their lives.
Challenging the marital presumption of paternity
Under Texas law, a man who is married to a woman when a child is conceived or born is presumed to be the father of the child. However, this presumption can be challenged in a paternity suit filed by the mother, the presumed father or the man who believes he is the father.