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Can you deny paternity?

Paternity is the establishment of a formal legal relationship between a father and child. It requires the father to provide financial, emotional, and familial support to the child. In short, paternity requires the father to provide benefits to another person for at least 18 years (and sometimes longer if college is involved). In Texas, there are two methods to avoid paternity, denial and rescind.

A Denial of Paternity is a legal form filled out by the presumed father swearing that he is not the child’s father. But, filing the Denial alone is insufficient, it must be accompanied by an Acknowledgment of Paternity form that is signed by the genetic father and mother.

The Denial will only be valid if it is filed with the Texas Vital Statistics Unit, signed under penalty of perjury, and the man did not sign an Acknowledgment form. If he did sign the form, he must have successfully rescinded or challenged it and was not named as the child’s father by a court order.

If you are engaged in a paternity dispute, then you may want to speak to an attorney. If you are trying to deny or rescind paternity, a DNA test will likely be ordered by the court. It is best if you speak with a lawyer prior to initiating these proceedings because if you lose, you are bound to care for the child for years. The last thing you need is to endanger your near and long-term financial future by not presenting your best arguments.

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