Call for a Consultation

call us469-906-2266

Dallas Paternity Lawyer

Garland paternity lawyer for child custody and support

Dallas Attorney Helping Parents Establish Legal Paternity

In many family law cases, the people involved will need to address issues related to their legal relationships with each other, including legal partnerships between married spouses or parents' rights and responsibilities toward their children. However, there are some situations where these relationships will need to be legally established before other issues can be addressed. In cases where a person has not been recognized as a child's legal parent, establishing paternity will protect their parental rights, as well as a child's right to receive financial support and other benefits.

When addressing paternity and related legal issues, the parties involved in these cases can protect their rights and make sure they are taking the correct steps to resolve these matters effectively by working with an experienced family law attorney. At Clark Law Group, we help our clients understand the laws that affect them and their children and the ways they can make sure both of a child's biological parents will be involved in the child's life. In addition to helping mothers take action to establish paternity and ensure that their child will receive the proper financial support, we also help address fathers' rights, ensuring that they will be able to maintain relationships with their children.

Benefits of Establishing Paternity

Texas law states that a man will be presumed to be a child's legal father in the following situations:

  • He is married to the child's mother when the child is born.
  • He was previously married to the child's mother, and the child was born no more than 300 days after the termination of the marriage due to divorce, annulment, or a declaration that the marriage was invalid.
  • He continuously lived in the same household as the child for at least two years after the child was born and represented himself as the child's parent to other people.

When a man is considered to be a child's legal father, he will have all the rights and duties of a parent. He may share in child custody, and if he is named as a joint managing conservator, he will be able to work together with the child's mother to make decisions about how the child will be raised. These decisions may address issues such as where the child will attend school and the types of medical care that will be provided. A father will also have the right to regular visitation time with the child.

In addition to maintaining a relationship with the father, a child can benefit from paternity in other ways. The father will have the obligation to provide child support that will address the child's ongoing needs. When providing medical care, doctors will be able to access family medical history for both parents. A child will also have the right to receive an inheritance from the father, and they may be able to receive different types of benefits through both parents, including health insurance coverage, veteran's benefits, and Social Security benefits.

Methods of Establishing Paternity

If a father does not meet the criteria to be presumed a child's legal parent, additional steps must be taken to establish paternity. In many cases, paternity can be established by agreement between the mother and father, and the parents can fill out and submit an acknowledgment of paternity form at any point after the child's birth. However, if either party challenges the claim that a man is a child's biological father, a paternity case may be filed in court, and a judge will order DNA testing. If these genetic tests show that there is a 99 percent or higher probability that a man is the biological father of the child, an order of paternity will be issued. The parents may then address any relevant issues related to child custody, visitation, or child support.

Paternity FAQs


Is There a Statute of Limitations on Paternity in Texas?

Answer: No, there is no statute of limitations that applies in paternity cases in Texas. As a result, people can bring paternity suits even after the child in question has grown into an adult.


How Long Does a Father Have to Establish Paternity in Texas?

Answer: Time limits for establishing paternity only apply in situations where a child already has a presumed father who is someone other than the person named in the paternity suit. In these cases, the person looking to bring the paternity suit must do so within four years after the child’s birth.


How Does a Father Establish Paternity in Texas?

Answer: In Texas, paternity will usually be established using a genetic test, which may be ordered by the court that hears a paternity suit. This test consists of a simple cheek swab of the purported father, the child in question, and, in some cases, the child’s mother. The DNA of the child and both parents will be analyzed to determine whether there is a genetic relationship between the man and the child.


What Are Paternity Rights in Texas law?

Answer: Establishing paternity is very important in Texas, as doing so affords the father the rights and duties of a parent. Once paternity is established, the parents may create a child custody agreement that will allow the father to participate in decisions regarding the child’s healthcare, education, and other important issues that will affect the child’s life. The father may also have the right to have possession and access of the child (visitation) on a regular basis.


How Do I Dispute Paternity in Texas?

Answer: To dispute paternity in Texas, a presumed father may file a Denial of Paternity form with the local family court. Evidence showing that the man is not the child’s father may need to be provided, which may include medical records, DNA test results, or any other relevant documentation. The court may then hold a hearing to review this evidence and determine who should be named the child’s legal parent.


Does the Father's Name on the Birth Certificate Establish Paternity in Texas?

Answer: Despite popular belief, a man will not be automatically considered a child’s father simply because his name is on the child’s birth certificate. In cases where the couple is not married or where someone other than a presumed father is the child’s actual father, the parents will need to sign a voluntary acknowledgment of paternity to establish a legal relationship between the father and child. If either parent is unwilling to do so, a paternity suit will need to be filed in court.


Can a Mother Withhold a Child From the Father in Texas?

Answer: If paternity has been established, and a child custody court order has been put in place, a mother cannot prevent her child from seeing the father unless there is evidence showing that the child may be at risk of suffering physical or emotional harm. Even if a father has failed to pay child support, the mother cannot legally withhold visitation rights without receiving permission from the court. However, if paternity has not been established, the father will have no legal rights regarding the child, and the mother will not be legally required to allow visitation time.

Contact Our Dallas Paternity Attorney

Our firm can help you address any paternity issues that your family may encounter. We work to help mothers establish paternity and receive child support, and we also help fathers take action to establish legal relationships with their children or challenge claims of paternity. Contact our office today at 469-906-2266 to schedule a confidential consultation to discuss your concerns. We assist with paternity and related matters in Grand Prairie, Coppell, Highland Park, Fort Worth, Carrollton, North Dallas, Dallas County, Lakewood, Irving, Collin County, Park Cities, Valley Ranch, Plano, Dallas, Mesquite, Garland, University Park, McKinney, Farmers Branch, Preston Hollow, Denton County, and Lake Highland.

elite sl dba tcba top10 avvo
Back to Top