Need Assistance with Paternity Matters?
Paternity and What It Entails
Under Texas law, paternity is the legal recognition of a father’s rights and responsibilities. A father has the right, subject to a court’s ruling on the best interests of the child, to frequent, meaningful contact with his children. A father also has the responsibility to provide support for his children. At Burrows Law Group, our experienced family lawyers represent fathers, mothers and children in North Texas in actions to determine paternity.
Establishing Paternity Under the Laws of Texas
There are three ways a man might receive legal recognition as a father:
- Presumption – A man is legally presumed to be a father if he: is married to a child’s mother when the child is born; was married to the child’s mother at any time during the 300 days prior to the child’s birth; married the mother after the child was born and voluntarily claimed paternity; or lived with the child during the child’s first two years of life and represented to others that the child was his.
- Voluntary acknowledgement – A man voluntarily signs a valid Acknowledgement of Paternity, which is filed with the Vital Statistics Unit.
- Adjudication – A man, pursuant to a court order, submits to genetic testing that proves fatherhood.
Paternity actions generally arise when a birth mother wants to receive child support from an alleged father or when an alleged father wants access to a child and is willing to assume support obligations. A presumed father or an acknowledged father might also seek a denial of paternity, which is an order declaring he is not the genetic father, freeing him from support obligations for someone else’s child. A child might seek a paternity determination to access family medical history or gain position for an inheritance.
Finally, paternity actions are sometimes necessary to resolve the issue so a birth mother can offer a child for adoption.
Possible Results of a Texas Paternity Action
If parties file a paternity action, the court can issue a ruling that orders:
- Legal recognition that an alleged father is in fact the father of the child
- Legal recognition that an alleged or presumed father is not the father of the child
- Custody, visitation, child support and medical support for the child
- Child support retroactive to the child’s birth
- Payment of prenatal medical expenses
- The change of the child’s name
- An amended birth certificate
- One or both parties to pay court costs, genetic testing fees, attorney fees or travel expenses
The family law attorneys at Burrows Law Group play an important role in these proceedings by protecting your rights and presenting the court with pertinent information it must consider to reach a fair judgment.
Contact Us Today for Assistance with Paternity Matters
If you anticipate being a party to a paternity action, the family lawyers at Burrows Law Group are ready to provide the strong advocacy you need. To schedule a consultation with a board-certified family law specialist, call 972-703-4004 or contact us here.*
*Board Certified in Family Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization