Paternity is often a highly emotional issue among families in the Mansfield-Fort Worth area, as well as throughout Texas. In addition to the legal weight of paternity issues, fathers and mothers in these cases are often dealing with the poignant subject of establishing the father’s rights over the child. Whether you’re an assumed father being sued for paternity, a mother seeking to establish paternity for your child, or you do want to enact your paternal rights as a father, the legality of these issues are governed by the Texas Family Code, Chapter 160.
Therefore, if you’re involved with a paternity issue, it is essential to acquire the services of an experienced Mansfield-Forth Worth paternity attorney. Through aggressive representation in courts and an in-depth, practical knowledge of Texas Family Code and paternity legal issues, the Law Office of Wendy L. Hart will treat your case with the utmost respect and professionalism that it deserves.
The Importance of Paternity
Paternity is defined as the legal identification of a child’s father. When paternity is established, the child’s genetic father becomes the child’s legal father. Likewise, establishing paternity comes with an array of benefits for the child. One such benefit is financial support from both parents, as the court cannot order a father to pay child support until establishing paternity. The child can also claim benefits from both parents, such as social security, insurance, inheritance, and veteran’s benefits, as long as paternity is established. Lastly, children have the right to know if they inherited any special health problems from their parents.
How Paternity is Established in Texas
In Texas, paternity can be established in one of three ways:
Presumption: When a married couple has a child, the law presumes the husband is the father of the child. This is true unless the father signs a Denial of Paternity, an Acknowledgement of Paternity, or the court orders that he is not the legal father.
Voluntary Acknowledgement: If the parents aren’t married, but all parties agree on the identity of the father, paternity can be established by filing an Acknowledgement of Paternity with the Texas Vital Statistics Unit. The mother and father must sign this document. If the presumed father is not the genetic father, he must sign the Denial of Paternity portion of this document. You may take back an Acknowledgement of Paternity or Denial of Paternity by filing a by filing a Rescission of Acknowledgment of Paternity form with the Texas Vital Statistics Unit.
Court Order: A parent or another authorized person may ask the court for an order establishing paternity of a child. Authorized persons to request a court order include the child’s mother, the man who thinks he’s the father, the man presumed to be the father, the child, or a person who is the intended parent in an approved gestational relationship. Governmental agencies, adoption agencies, or authorized representatives may also file for a court order.
Contact the Leading Family Law Attorney in Mansfield-Fort Worth Today
Paternity can be a complex legal issue involving a wide range of issues, from genetic testing to the father’s rights. Due to the gravity of these situations, it is important to have an experienced paternity attorney on your side to ensure that all documents and actions are conducted thoroughly and legally. At the Law Office of Wendy L. Hart, we put your interests at the forefront of our litigation strategy, ensuring both compassion and diligence over this complex issue. To speak with attorney Hart, contact our law offices today at (817) 842-2336.