Paternity establishment is needed when there is a child that was born during a marriage but not of the marriage or when a child is born from an unmarried couple.
The first step is resolving the dispute legally, which is also known as Adjudication.
In paternity establishment cases, the court makes orders that state who the child’s legal parents are. In Texas, if a child is born during a marriage, the law assumes that the husband is the father of the child. Things become complicated if a party had a child during the marriage but not of the marriage (i.e. had a child with someone that was not their husband or wife during the marriage). There is no law assuming parentage for unmarried parents. Thus, parentage of their child needs to be established.
Paternity establishment is made if the father signs an Acknowledgment of Paternity (AOP). Paternity establishment may be also be set aside if a Husband signs a Denial of Paternity. If there is a child that was born during a marriage, but not of the marriage; it is best to contact The Law Office of Gloria E. López.
In said situation, there are a series of steps that must be followed in order to remove the presumption of paternity, from the Husband, and obtain an adjudication of paternity with the biological father (not the husband). In most cases, the Court will order DNA testing to confirm paternity, prior to adjudicating a father.
Once a paternity has been adjudicated, the father’s name may be included on the child’s birth certificate (if not already there). Moreover, the father will have all the rights and responsibilities of a parent.
Suit Affecting the Parent-Child Relationship
A Suit Affecting the Parent-Child Relationship creates the parent-child relationship. A Suit Affecting the Parent Child Relationship includes Conservatorship, Possession and Access, Child Support, and Medical Support. Without an order addressing the parents’ rights and responsibilities, both parents have equal rights in regards to the children.
Moreover, without said order, both parents have the ability to do the following: have the child living with them, enroll and un-enroll the child from school, move with the child, take the child to another state, pick up the child from school, attend school extracurricular activities, and prevent the other parent from seeing the child.
Thus, if the parents do not live together, it is essential that they obtain an Order establishing each of the clauses addressed above.