Galveston County Paternity Lawyers
Establishing paternity has serious consequences as it comes with both legal responsibilities and certain parental rights. For instance, once paternity has been established, a father must pay child support, but also has rights to visitation and child custody. Alternatively, disestablishing paternity can result in a loss of those rights. The lawyers at Lindamood & Robinson, P.C. have experience representing both men and women who wish to establish paternity through the legal process, so if you are attempting to establish or dispute paternity, please contact our Galveston County paternity lawyers and we will help you schedule a consultation.
There are a variety of ways to establish paternity, including:
- By presumption;
- Through an acknowledgement of paternity;
- By court order; and
- Through adoption.
A court will presume that a man is a child’s father if he falls under one of the following categories:
- He is married to the child’s mother and the child was born during the marriage;
- The marriage ended, but the child was born within 300 days of the date of termination;
- The man married the mother of the child before the child was born;
- The man married the child’s mother after the child was born and voluntarily asserted paternity of the child; or
- He continuously lived in the household for the first two years of the child’s life.
A presumption of paternity can only be rebutted in one of two ways:
- By court order; or
- Through filing a denial of paternity in conjunction with the filing by another person of an acknowledgment of paternity.
A paternity suit can also be initiated by another man who believes he is the biological father of the child, even though the child’s mother is married to the presumed father.
If all parties agree that a man is a child’s biological father, the parents have the option of signing an acknowledgment of paternity, which takes effect when the child is born or on the date of the filing, whichever occurs later.
When the mother and an alleged father do not agree on the issue of paternity, one of the parties can file a petition to adjudicate parentage. In these cases, the man must appear in court or he will risk the judge entering a default order declaring paternity. The court may also order DNA testing, the cost of which is usually split equally between the parties, before establishing paternity. Children or their representatives can also file a lawsuit to determine paternity, as long as the child has not yet turned 20 years old. During the proceeding, the court can also decide issues involving custody, visitation, and child support.
How an Experienced Galveston County Paternity Lawyer Can Help
Legally established fatherhood comes with certain duties as well as parental rights, which can significantly impact the lives of all parties, so if you live in Galveston County and wish to establish or deny paternity, please contact the legal team of Lindamood & Robinson, P.C. by calling 281-486-6116 or by filling out one of our contact forms and we will have a member of our dedicated legal team help you schedule a consultation.