Paternity Rights

Our Lawyers Will Guide You Through Handling Your Paternity Rights in Texas.

The establishment of paternity rights in Texas is determined by the Uniform Parentage Act (UPA), which outlines conditions where a man will have responsibilities as a father to a child. Paternity is an important designation, as once it is established there will be the requirement to pay child support. A claim of paternity should be handled by an accomplished family law attorney who understands how the tests for paternity will be applied. Merritt Law knows the area of paternity rights in Texas and can guide you in the correct legal procedures.

The Tests of Paternity

Paternity Rights In TexasThe UPA sets out three instances where a man may establish paternity:

1. At the time of birth, the man was married to the mother.
2. A child is born within 300 days of the termination of marriage.
3. A man claims the child as his own, and lives with the child the first two years of the child’s life.

If any of these three conditions exist, there will be a presumption of paternity. In that case the man can offer several rebuttals to deny the child is his. For example, another man claiming the child or the man not living with the woman prior to birth are both possible rebuttals to paternity. However, without any contrary evidence or rebuttal, the man will have both the rights and responsibilities of paternity. Additionally if the man fails to rebut the presumption timely, he could then lose his right to deny paternity, even if he is not the biological parent. This is why it is important that you contact an attorney immediately.

Also if you are the father of a child and you do not timely establish that legal relationship you may be precluded from establishing it later. You could then not be able to see your child or have any say in your child’s life. Again, this is a very time sensitive subject and needs to be addressed with someone like the attorneys at Merritt Law.

Responsibilities of Paternity

A decree of paternity is not taken lightly, and in some cases of unclear factual evidence a court may order a DNA test. This genetic marker test can be combined with other facts and testimony to assign paternity. If successful, the paternity decree will give the father financial responsibility for child support payments, but will also grant certain parental rights for access to the child. This may include visitation and the right to guide the child in their education and development.

If you would like to assert your rights to paternity of a child, or offer a rebuttal, then let an expert family lawyer to make sure the correct result is reached. Merritt Law can represent you for an accurate paternity decree in court, and make sure the evidence is in place demonstrating paternity. Paternity rights are a lifelong responsibility and need the attention of an attorney who can fight for your rights. Please contact us to learn more about your paternity rights in Texas.