When couples are married when a child is born, the man or husband in the relationship is the presumed father of the child. Paternity becomes an issue when a child is born to unmarried parents. A child born to unmarried parents in Texas does not have a legal father until paternity is established. The mother and the man claiming to be the father of the child may sign an “acknowledgement of paternity” (AOP) with the intent to establish paternity. The execution of paternity is not something to be taken lightly and once signed, it leads to the establishment of parent-child relationship between the father and the child. When paternity cannot be voluntarily established, legal action may become necessary.
Learn more about our paternity and family law services. Call (713) 909-7323 for an initial consultation.
Paternity can be established in Texas in one of the following ways:
Suit to adjudicate parentage usually involves a party that disputes the designation of a paternity. A father who may be the father of the child is called “alleged father”. This may involve a man who disputes their legal relationship and obligations to a child or wishes to assert their rights as a father, or a mother who claims or disputes a man’s status as legal father. Petitions to adjudicate parentage may also be filed by the child or the state if a child receives public assistance. When a petition is filed, there are several ways it can be resolved:
Establishing paternity is important to securing legal benefits and parental rights, as well as providing emotional benefits to a child. Both men and women can benefit from the results of a paternity test:
Regardless of the complexity or nature of your case, Hendershot, Cannon, Martin & Hisey, P.C. has the experience and resources to find answers and the most positive resolution possible. Our family law team proudly serves clients throughout Houston, Sugar Land, and Galveston, and has technological resources to communicate with you effectively even if you are stationed in the military or work outside of Texas. Using Skype video conferencing capabilities, email, and other methods, we frequently assist active-duty service members with paternity proceedings and other pivotal matters.
Call (713) 909-7323 today, or contact our firm using a short online form. We look forward to speaking with you during a confidential consultation.