Parenting comes with many joys, especially when you have legal assurance that you can spend time with your child and support their upbringing.
Successfully navigating paternity in Texas will give you the chance to influence the direction of a young child’s life, impart your wisdom to them, and give the gift of watching your son or daughter grow into a unique individual.
Before you can experience any of these joys, however, you need to be recognized as the child’s legal parent. If you aren’t listed on the child’s birth certificate, or you’ve never been recognized as your child’s parent by a court, you do not have the legal right to see your child.
Paternity court cases are the legal mechanism to obtain the rights and responsibilities of parenthood. These cases can present numerous challenges, so it’s always best to consult an experienced paternity lawyer to help you navigate the potential difficulties. If you live in Fort Bend County, Texas, take a look at how our team can help you overcome challenges.
3 Challenges of Fort Bend County Paternity Court Cases
Paternity cases can quickly become complicated, requiring the presentation of physical evidence, testimony, and legal arguments. They may present the following challenging issues.
1. You Aren’t Listed on the Birth Certificate or a Presumed Father
Texas law recognizes several ways that a man can be presumed to be a child’s father. If one or more of these presumptions apply, the law considers you to be the child’s legal father unless there’s evidence that overcomes the presumption.
Two of the most common paternity presumptions exist when you’re listed on the child’s birth certificate or were married to the child’s mother when or close to the time she gave birth. There are also other, less common ways to establish a presumption of paternity in your favor.
A court will need to see and consider compelling evidence before it can make a decision on these presumptions. Working with an experienced paternity lawyer is a smart way to ensure that all relevant facts are presented to the court.
2. You Want Genetic Testing Conducted on Your Child
Perhaps you’re in the inverse situation and believe you are not your child’s biological father. Having a court order genetic testing is one way to defeat a presumption of paternity. However, just because you have doubts about your biological relationship with a child doesn’t mean the court will automatically order genetic testing.
A court weighs the interest in determining a child’s true biological father against the stability and support they would have if you remained their legal father. Before a judge will order genetic testing, they must find that doing so would be in the child’s best interests.
Again, an attorney can help you showcase the requisite facts that the court will need to consider in making this decision.
3. Rights and Responsibilities Must Be Established or Removed
Finally, a court can set child support and visitation conditions and issue other orders if it finds that a person is the legal parent of a child.
Conversely, if the court were to find that a person isn’t the parent of a child, a judge could also relieve that person of any parental responsibilities and rights they may have previously had.
Similarly, someone newly determined to be the child’s legal parent can have a visitation schedule and child support obligation established through a paternity action.
Parker & Aguilar: Your Fort Bend County Paternity Law Firm
No matter what you’re seeking to accomplish through paternity court cases, these types of legal situations can quickly become complicated. Because we are local to Fort Bend, we can help you navigate specific issues with the Family Law Division.
We will take your case seriously, understand your unique situation, and provide you with expert representation from our local law attorneys.
The stakes are high, so give yourself the best shot at success by retaining our experienced paternity lawyers. You can reach our Sugar Land office at 281-944-5485 to schedule a consultation.
We look forward to supporting you on the path to achieving your goals for paternity.