Parents define our lives, either through their nurturing involvement or the sting of their absence. For a small number of Texans, the identity of our parents may become a burning question. Sometimes, the question matters for legal reasons before a person is an adult.
Paternity fraud occurs when a woman claims a man is her child's biological father or allows him to be presumed to be the father when she either knows or suspects that he isn't.
When a child is born, the mother and father of that child generally have the opportunity to assign paternity voluntarily, without proving paternity with any kind of testing. This can create legal complications if the child's paternity is later called into question, and in many cases, another father may have strong grounds to challenge paternity and claim some forms of parental rights to a child.
Determining paternity is not always a simple matter, especially if the mother of the child does not consent to a paternity test. Unlike other states, Texas allows for more flexibility when it comes to pursuing paternity, but still places some restrictions on the circumstances in which a potential father may sue in order to obtain testing. These legal boundaries must be considered carefully before taking specific legal action.
As technological advances bring along new opportunities, they also bring with them personal and legal complexities that our ancestors could likely have never imagined. Texas recently spoke to such an issue when it handed down a ruling regarding whether a man who donated sperm to a woman he knew for childbearing purposes could be legally considered the father of the child and seek parental rights.
When trying to establish paternity in Texas, it's important to consider the way that a defined paternal link is going to change the father's relationship with the child. It will bring about new rights and opportunities, but it also brings along new obligations.
When it comes to paternity, it's wise to gather as much information as you possibly can so that you understand the ins and outs of the legal system in Texas. We pride ourselves on our ability to answer the pressing questions that our clients have, helping them navigate through the case from beginning to end. Questions you may want to ask include the following:
One of the first questions people have about paternity testing is usually fairly simple: What makes it important? What are the main reasons to get the test done, outside of just giving yourself the peace of mind of knowing for sure who the child's father is? There are a few important reasons to consider, including the following:
If you've been accused of being a child's father and you believe you are not the father, you can sign a Denial of Paternity. This is something you may want to do, for example, so that you don't end up paying child support for someone else's child. Below are a few key things you should know about these forms:
Of course, it's important that fathers take responsibility for helping to raise and be a role model for their children, even if they are no longer in a relationship with the mother. Financial responsibility is also part of being a father. However, many men throughout Texas and the rest of the country paying child support for children who are not theirs.