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San Antonio Paternity Attorney

San Antonio paternity attorney

How To Establish Paternity?

From a biological standpoint, paternity often seems to be a simple matter. The man who impregnates the mother is the father of the child that is later born. However, these matters can become much more complicated when they are considered at the legal level. Both parents have rights and obligations toward their children, but paternity must be legally established before either parent can enforce a father's rights and his obligations toward the child. When addressing this issue, parents or others who play an important role in a child's life will need to work with a family law attorney to ensure that matters will be handled correctly.

The lawyers of Brandon Wong & Associates know how to address paternity matters and other types of family law cases. We have handled countless paternity cases, and in addition to helping establish paternity, we can assist with the termination of rights based on mistaken paternity. We can advocate for your rights, whether you are a father looking to protect your relationship with your child, a mother who is seeking child support from your child's other parent, or a parent in a same-sex relationship. Our goal is to help you build lasting relationships with your children while ensuring that they will have the financial resources they need.

How Does One Establish Paternity in Texas?

In Texas, there are three ways in which a parent may establish paternity. There are many nuances to the law, which is why you should always consult with a highly knowledgeable attorney. Methods of establishing paternity include:

  • Presumption of paternity: A man is presumed to be the father of a child if he was married to the mother prior to or at the time of the child's birth, or immediately after the child was born if he had voluntarily claimed paternity. Living with the child and claiming to be the child's parent for at least two years after the child is born can also be used as evidence of presumed paternity.
  • Acknowledgment of paternity: Parents can sign a voluntary agreement that acknowledges that a man is the child's biological parent. Both parents must sign this document. A man can also rebut or challenge a presumption of paternity by signing the portion of the acknowledgment regarding denial of paternity. In these cases, the child's actual biological father will also need to sign the acknowledgment of paternity.
  • Court order: A person may petition the court for an order to establish or challenge paternity. Parties who may pursue a paternity action include the mother, the presumed father, a man who claims paternity, an intended parent in a surrogacy or gestational agreement, a child support agency, or another person who has custody of the child.

Texas law provides certain rights to those who are recognized as a child's legal parents. A child's father will have the right to pursue shared custody of a child, and even if he does not share legal conservatorship, he will usually be able to have a reasonable amount of visitation with the child on a regular, ongoing basis. As a parent, a father will have the duty to support the child financially, and by establishing child support arrangements that are fair and lawful, parents can ensure that the child's ongoing needs will be met and that they will also have sufficient resources to provide for their own needs. Establishing paternity can also provide a number of benefits for the child, including the right to an inheritance from their parent, the right to receive Social Security or other government benefits through a parent, and the ability to access information about their family medical history.

Contact Our Bexar County Paternity Lawyers

Our firm believes in protecting the best interests of children in family law cases. We can work with fathers, mothers, or other parties to establish paternity, address issues related to child custody, and ensure that the proper child support orders are put in place. Contact us at 210-201-3832 to set up an initial consultation and learn how we can help. We will be happy to answer your questions, explain your legal rights, and help you explore your options for establishing and/or protecting those rights.

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