Katy Paternity Attorneys

Protecting Fathers' Rights

Paternity is a crucial component of many areas of the law, from divorce to estate planning. When unmarried couples have a child, it is essential to establish paternity to protect your fathers’ rights.

If you’re trying to gain custody or visitation rights, you must first establish paternity of your child by calling Hunt Law Firm today. Our attorneys are dedicated family law advocates, and we work tirelessly to help our clients achieve their family law goals.

Our Katy paternity attorneys are prepared, knowledgeable, and constantly working in your best interests. Get started on your case today by contacting us now.

For assistance establishing your paternity, call Hunt Law Firm at (832) 781-0320 or contact us online.

How to Establish Paternity in Texas

In Texas, there are at least three ways to establish paternity, depending on the relationship between the father and mother. The following are some of the most common examples of how paternity is established:

  • If the parents are married at the time of birth, then the child will be legally presumed to be the father of the child. If the father is someone other than the husband, the husband must typically complete a Denial of Paternity before the biological father will be recognized.
  • If the parents are unmarried, they may sign a notarized Acknowledgement of Paternity (AOP) form. This is a basic and very common form.
  • If you are unsure of paternity, you will need to establish paternity through the courts. This will generally require a scientific genetic paternity test. Establishing paternity through the courts can also be used if the presumed father refuses to sign a Denial of Paternity.

What is the Simplest Path?

When it comes to legally establishing that a man is your child’s father, the simplest way to do this is to sign the paternity paperwork (“Acknowledgement of Paternity”) at the hospital when the child is born. This is a sworn document signed by both parents affirming that they believe that the man is the biological father of the child. Once this is signed and filed with the state, there are very limited options for the signor to undo it or for another man to try to claim that he is the father instead of the signor.

Adopting a child also very clear and officially establishes a man as the child’s father. Both of these methods are relatively clean-cut and are good protections against future disputes by other parties attempting to claim that they are the child’s parent.

Can I Get a Court Order to Prove I am the Father?

Either parent can file a court case requesting to establish the man as the child’s legal father. The deadlines to file this type of court case vary depending on whether any man has signed an Acknowledgement of Paternity already.

In Paternity cases, it is typical for the judge to order DNA testing unless there are extreme circumstances when the judge might think that the child would be harmed by disproving the paternity of the man known as the father. Paternity cases can be filed during the pregnancy, but they cannot be finalized until after the child is born. However, certain preliminary steps, like serving the other parent and collecting the man’s DNA sample, can be done before the birth.

If the Paternity case is filed by the mother and the father believes the child is his, he can admit, in a responsive pleading or during his sworn testimony, that he is the child’s father and this will typically be sufficient for a judge to determine that he is in fact the father and issue an order to that effect.

What if I am Married to Someone Else?

In Texas, all children born during a marriage are presumed to be the biological children of both spouses, so there are specific steps you must take to prove that someone other than the husband is the child’s biological father. To do this, the mother would need both men to sign a form called Acknowledgement/Denial of Paternity. This form establishes that the husband acknowledges that he is not the biological father and the other man is acknowledging that he is the biological father. It is very important to have both men sign their portions of the form because neither one will be valid without the other.

Another method to prove someone other than the husband is the child’s father is to file a paternity case for that child and get a court order saying that the husband is not the father and has no legal obligations toward the child. That order will then lay out the rights of the man who is found to be the father.

Paternity Registry

If a man thinks that he has gotten a woman pregnant, it is usually a good idea to fill out a form called Application for Notice of Intent to Claim Paternity. This adds the man to a database knows as the Paternity Registry and provides the state and the courts with the man’s identifying information in case the mother decides to put the baby up for adoption without notifying the father or if CPS removes the child from the mother.

You should know that being on the Paternity Registry does not establish your paternity and it does not begin the paternity process. It simply preserves your right to notice in the event a parental rights termination case is begun for the child. So, you should not rely on the Paternity Registry alone to give notice to anyone of your belief that the child is yours.

If you need help establishing your paternity or someone else’s, schedule a consultation with Hunt Law Firm. We have the expertise and resources to navigate you through your case and get the best outcome for you and your child.

LGBT+ Considerations

We want to emphasize that we are a welcoming and inclusive firm who believes that families come in all varieties. We appreciate and embrace our non-traditional neighbors and we look forward to the opportunity to help you with your family law cases as well.

Contact Hunt Law Firm Today

When dealing with issues as personal as paternity, it’s crucial to retain counsel from a lawyer who truly cares about your best interests. You’ll find such counsel at Hunt Law Firm, where our skilled attorneys proudly serve residents of Katy, Houston, and the surrounding areas.

Involved in a paternity dispute? Contact Hunt Law Firm for dedicated representation.

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