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How Can Fathers Establish Paternity in Texas?

Posted on in Family Law

North Texas Paternity AttorneyIn Texas, when a child is born to unmarried parents, a father’s right to be involved in the child’s life is not guaranteed. If you are a father who wants custody of your children, you will need to ensure that you take the proper steps to establish legal paternity. However, there is more than one way to be recognized as a child’s legal parent, and it is important that you understand the method that is most appropriate for your situation.

Presumptions of Paternity in Texas

According to Texas law, a man is presumed to be the legal father of a child when he was previously married to the mother, and the marriage ended within 300 days of the child’s birth. If your child was born soon after your divorce from the mother, you may not need to take further action to establish paternity. However, a presumption of paternity is rebuttable if, for example, another man purports to be the biological father. It may be a good idea to consult with an attorney to see if you need to take further steps to protect your rights as a father.

Voluntary Acknowledgement of Paternity

If you have no past or present marital relationship with your child’s mother, the most straightforward way to establish paternity is by completing an Acknowledgement of Paternity (AOP) form. These forms are typically available at the hospital to fill out upon a child’s birth, and they are also accessible through various entities certified by the Texas Office of the Attorney General. Both you and the child’s mother must sign the AOP for it to take effect.

Adjudication of Paternity

A court order is the most challenging method of establishing paternity, but it is often necessary to pursue adjudication of paternity if your child’s mother denies your parentage, or if another man claims to be your child’s parent. As a man who purports to be the father of a child, you have the legal standing to petition for a proceeding to adjudicate paternity. During this process, you will likely be ordered by the court to undergo genetic testing to determine whether there is a biological relationship between you and the child. If so, the court will likely recognize you as the child’s legal father.

Contact a Frisco Paternity Lawyer

At Law Office of Philip W. Moore, Jr., we are passionate advocates for fathers’ rights. If you need help establishing the paternity of your child, we can provide knowledgeable legal advice and represent you in any necessary court proceedings. To schedule a free consultation with our Collin County fathers’ rights attorney, contact us today at 972-954-6455.

 

Sources:

https://statutes.capitol.texas.gov/Docs/FA/htm/FA.160.htm

https://www.texasattorneygeneral.gov/child-support/paternity

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