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Cleburne Paternity Lawyer

Determining and Proving Paternity in Texas

In the state of Texas, there is difference between a biological father and a legal father. When the parents of a child are not married, the biological father will not be considered a legal father until paternity is legally established. Establishing paternity is an important step for obtaining various types of benefits, such as if the father wants to exercise his legal rights as a parent (including rights to visitation or child custody), or if the parents want the child to be considered a dependent under the father's health insurance plan or under his government assistance. Furthermore, paternity needs to be established before child support can be ordered. It is important to note that when children are born to married parents, the state of Texas automatically presumes that the husband is the child's father, unless it is legally proven otherwise.

Cleburne Divorce Attorney Kim Baker has more than 18 years of experience in family law and is fully knowledgeable about Texas' statutes concerning issues of paternity. She can provide you with the step-by-step guidance you need throughout this process.

How to Establish Paternity

Paternity can be established in multiple ways. One option is for both parents to acknowledge the father-child relationship by signing an Acknowledgement of Paternity (AOP) form at the time of the child's birth, as noted on the website of the Attorney General of Texas. This allows the biological father to then be recognized as the child's legal father, and it allows his name to be included on the birth certificate. It also gives him access to his fathers' rights. Complications can occur, however, if the mother of the child is married to someone else or if the birth occurred within 300 days of the mother's divorce with a man who is not the biological father. In these cases, the mother's husband is required to sign a Denial of Paternity. If the husband refuses, the case will need to be handled in court.

In certain cases, it is necessary for a father to obtain paternity testing, which is done through DNA testing. This might be necessary if either individual refuses to acknowledge paternity. There are some situations in which fathers do not even become aware of the child's existence until later in the child's life. If DNA testing and other evidence shows that a man is the biological father of a child, a court order can establish paternity.

Obtaining Legal Counsel with Our Cleburne Family Lawyer

A failure to establish paternity could negatively affect the parents and children involved. By working with an experienced lawyer, you could better ensure that you are handling the establishment of paternity correctly. At the Law Office of Kimberly A. Baker, Attorney Baker's goal is to help you protect the best interests of you and your loved ones.

Contact the firm today so you can obtain the strong legal counsel you need!

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The Law Office of Kimberly A. Baker - Cleburne Divorce Attorney
Located at 115 South Main Street, Suite 201 Cleburne, TX 76033. View Map
Phone: (817) 854-2022 | Local Phone: (817) 558-9033.