If you believe you are the biological father of a child, you need to understand how Texas paternity laws work to help you obtain legal rights to your child.
Your child could be a newborn, and you want to prove parentage right away. Or, perhaps you just found out that you could be the biological father of a teenager. No matter the child’s age, you can establish paternity so that you can legally be involved in the upbringing and care of your child.
There are some legal steps that you must go through to establish parentage of your child. These steps require effort and time, but in the end, the time you will get to spend with your child will be worth it.
Fortunately, I am experienced in this legal matter, and I know how to fight for your legal rights. In this article, I’ll unpack some of the key issues involved in establishing parentage in Texas. Use this guide to help you gain confidence in the issue or issues that apply to your situation.
Need immediate support establishing paternity in Texas? Contact my offices at 979-267-7660 or 281-944-5485.
Texas Paternity Laws: Steps to Establish Parentage
If you are not married to the mother of a child that you believe is yours, then keep in mind that the biological father does not have legal rights to his child in Texas until paternity is established. However, the steps to achieving parentage are attainable, and when you work with me, I will walk you through every requirement along the way.
Working with an experienced family law attorney will minimize stress for you and get the process done as quickly as possible. I have significant experience with parentage, and I have helped many men establish parental rights to gain access to their child or children. Consider each step in the process.
– The first step is a court-ordered paternity test. This is a simple DNA test that can be a swab or a blood test that will prove that you are the father of your child. The court needs this proof before it can move forward with the remainder of the legal process.
Proving your paternity is all about a DNA test, and once the results come back, the court will recognize you as the father of your child. However, it usually takes about 4-6 weeks for the paternity test results to come back. Until the results come back, you will have to wait to move further with the legal process.
– The second step is receiving an Acknowledgement of Paternity (AOP) legal document, which means that the court has received the paternity test results and has legally acknowledged that you are the father of your child.
The court will make you the legal father of your child, so you can officially become part of the child’s life. In some cases, the court will decide when you can have visitation with your child. If you and the mother cannot come to an agreement, then the court will intervene to establish visitation rights.
– The third step is adding you to the child’s birth certificate. Adding you to the birth certificate ensures that you will not come across any legal paternity issues in the future. Sometimes, the mother of the child will try to fight this in court. However, if you have been established as the biological father of a child, then I will help protect your legal rights to avoid this type of unnerving situation.
Another Consideration: Mistaken Paternity
In some cases, there is the issue of mistaken paternity, which is when someone else is incorrectly recognized as the legal father of your child. This could be because the other man is on your child’s birth certificate or because of other legal issues.
Mistaken paternity is a common issue in Texas, and this process can be a little more complicated than a regular parentage legal case. There are many legal considerations such as:
- Terminating the mistaken parent’s parent-child relationship.
- Establishing child custody and visitation rights for the new parent.
- Establishing child support requirements for the new parent.
- Setting a termination date to transfer parental responsibility.
- Correcting the birth certificate to acknowledge the biological father.
If you are pursuing parental rights because you believe someone else has been mistakenly identified as the father of your child, then I will walk you through what needs to be done. It can be a nuisance to fix mistaken paternity, but I am well-versed with these cases to help you arrive at the best possible outcome.
Get Started Today Navigating Texas Paternity Laws
Working with an experienced family law attorney will help you establish paternity as you seek to be recognized by the courts as the true father of a child.
I recognize how important it is to be able to care for your child and to be part of his or her upbringing. You should have the opportunity to get to know your child and have an active role in their day-to-day life. I can help make that happen if you believe you are the biological father of a child.
Ready to get started? You can reach my offices at 281-944-5485 or 979-267-7660 to find legal support navigating Texas paternity laws. I have helped many fathers in Fort Bend County, Brazoria County, and Harris County find success. Let’s get to work establishing your parental rights!