Paternity is defined in the Texas Family Code as the legal identification of a child's father. When paternity is established, the child's genetic father becomes the child's legal father with all of the rights and duties of a parent. This can be proven, but the problems that arise can be extremely complex.
Texas law makes the presumption that if the mom and dad are married when the child is born, the man involved is the father. The court also presumes that the man is the father if he and the mother were married any time in the past 300 days. If the man voluntarily agrees that he is the father, and became married to the woman after the child is born, he must file documents with the Vital Statistics unit of the Texas Office of the Attorney General.
If you think that you are not the father of the child, you must sign a "denial of paternity" and the true father and mother of the child sign an "acknowledgment of paternity."
After being proven as the father, the male must provide financial support for his child, as must the mother. One of the many good things for the child after having his or her father proven is the parent is that Social Security benefits, insurance coverage and even veterans benefits can come to the child. Another advantage to proving paternity is that now the child will know his or her medical history.
Can you begin to see that paternity is a convoluted and difficult process to begin with? This doesn't even touch on the issues that arise after paternity is proven. Child support, child custody, visitation and other matters quickly become hot-button issues.
At the Law Office of Nancy H. Boler, you will find competent and approachable attorneys who will answer your questions and guide you through the sometimes confusing maze of the Texas court system.