Houston Paternity Lawyers

Do you need help establishing paternity? Don’t give up your legal rights. Contact the Houston paternity lawyers at the Larson Law Office today.

Houston paternity lawyer

A child’s relationship with both parents is essential to their well-being. A man may believe himself to be the child’s father, but if paternity is not legally established, he may have no legal parental rights. If the relationship between the parents falls apart, he may find it challenging to get visitation or custody. Many other legal issues can arise from paternity. 

At The Larson Law Office PLLC, our Houston paternity lawyers know the many issues surrounding paternity. We have extensive knowledge of family law. Our Houston paternity attorneys have experience litigating paternity cases on behalf of parents and children. 

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What Is Paternity?

Paternity is the term for legal fatherhood. Establishing legal fatherhood is essential for the child’s well-being for several reasons. A child’s legal parent has a right to a relationship with the child. A child’s legal parent also has a duty to help support the child and can be required to pay child support. You should consult Texas paternity attorneys to understand the rights and responsibilities of legal parenthood under Texas law.

Sometimes paternity is mistakenly assumed. If a person believes they are the father they may take on support obligations under a mistaken understanding of their biological relationship with a child. If you are in this situation, our Houston father’s rights lawyers can find the best solution for you.

Benefits of Paternity Determination

Determining paternity can have a positive impact on a child’s emotional and financial well-being. Children with acknowledged legal fathers often experience a stronger sense of belonging and are more likely to have consistent financial support throughout their upbringing.

Challenges in Paternity Cases

Navigating paternity cases as a father involves challenges such as proving biological relationship through genetic testing, establishing legal standing, addressing custody and visitation disputes, determining child support obligations, managing emotional strain, fostering cooperative communication, overcoming inaccurate assumptions, understanding legal procedures, balancing work commitments, countering negative stereotypes, and managing legal costs. Seeking the expertise of experienced paternity attorneys is crucial to effectively address these challenges and secure the best outcomes for both fathers and their children.

How to Establish Paternity in Texas

A father has no automatic paternity unless the parents are married when the child is born. If the parents are not married, the father must legally establish paternity. There are several ways to establish paternity in Texas, which we generally describe below. Our Houston paternity attorney can discuss your case more specifically.

Presumption of Paternity

Texas law presumes that a man is the legal father of a child in certain circumstances. A presumption means the law automatically assigns the rights and obligations to a person if they meet certain criteria.

However, a presumed father can challenge a presumption in court if they have evidence that they are not the child’s biological father. Speak with Texas father’s rights attorneys for more information on paternity presumptions. 

Paternity Through Marriage

Texas law presumes that a child born during the marriage is the husband’s legal child. This means that the husband automatically becomes the legal father unless it is specifically challenged. Also, if the child is born within 301 days of the husband’s death or the end of the marriage, that child is presumed to be his legal child.

Acting As the Father in the Child’s First Two Years

Additionally, a presumption applies to someone who lives with the child for the first two years and tells people he’s the child’s father. The law obligates a person who holds himself out to the world as the child’s father during this formative period. 

Acknowledgment of Paternity

Another way to establish paternity is to file an Acknowledgment of Paternity (AOP). The parents can do this before the child is born and anytime after birth. Hospital staff can provide this at the time of birth. Both parents must sign and file the AOP with a specified Texas government-certified agency. 

Court-Ordered Paternity 

The parents can establish paternity through a court order. In a paternity lawsuit, a court decides the child’s paternity based on evidence, typically DNA testing results. A court will order a paternity test if one of the parents denies paternity. A paternity case also resolves other paternity issues, such as child custody (conservatorship), visitation, and child support. Paternity is often established as a part of a child support proceeding. The parties can settle the case anytime before the court makes a final decision.

Why Is Paternity Important?

Paternity legally establishes a relationship between the father and child. The legal father’s name will appear on the child’s birth certificate. A legal parent has legal relationship rights with the child and also has an obligation to provide financial support. Plus, a legal child may be entitled to inheritance and other benefits under the law. 

Establishing paternity also helps the child access important information. Knowing your biological parents allows them to find out about their family’s medical background and family history. 

Who Can Bring a Paternity Case? 

Several parties may bring a case to establish paternity. They include:

  • The child,
  • The child’s mother,
  • A man who believes he is the father of the child,
  • A man who was incorrectly presumed to be the father of the child, and
  • The State of Texas, if the mother receives public assistance.

Speak with our Texas paternity lawyers to see if you can bring a paternity suit.

How Our Houston Paternity Lawyer Can Help You

Establishing paternity is not always easy. Litigating paternity involves understanding the nuances of Texas family law and navigating potential conflicts. Our Houston paternity attorneys are well-versed in family law, and we have a proven track record of successfully assisting clients in various paternity cases. We represent parents on either side of paternity cases, providing comprehensive legal support from negotiation to litigation.

We understand that it’s crucial for a person to know their legal rights and responsibilities, especially if it involves parenthood. With our deep knowledge of paternity law in Texas, we are committed to ensuring that you fully comprehend your rights and options. Our client-centered approach means that we will listen to your concerns, address your questions, and work collaboratively to develop a tailored legal strategy that aligns with your goals.

Contact us today for more information on paternity, and let us guide you through this complex legal journey. Our skilled paternity lawyers are dedicated to securing the best possible outcomes for you and your child, and we are ready to stand by your side every step of the way.