Paternity Disputes in Texas

Paternity Disputes in Texas

If you’ve been living with someone or have had a child with another person out of wedlock, establishing paternity can be essential to protecting your rights, whether you’re the father or mother of the child. As the mother, a paternity determination can make you eligible for child support. As the father, you may be able to make a claim for access or visitation with your minor child. Of course, paternity determinations can also be used to fight requests for support or visitation.

In Texas, if you are legally married when a child is born, there is a presumption that the husband is the biological father of the child. If the father signs his name to the birth certificate, that will be considered conclusive evidence of paternity. Either party to a marriage can, however, challenge paternity, which would typically be established by a DNA test.

If the alleged parents are not married at the time of birth, other procedures must be employed to establish of reject paternity. A man may voluntarily sign an “acknowledgement of paternity” form. If this is done at the hospital when the child is born, the form will be sent to the Vital Statistics Unit in Austin and paternity will be considered legally established. If, however, the father does not sign the birth certificate at the hospital, but later signs an acknowledgement of paternity, the birth certificate will need to be amended, which typically involves a fee.

If the alleged father is unwilling to voluntarily admit paternity, a court proceeding must be initiated. The court will schedule a hearing on the Petition to Adjudicate Paternity. If, at the hearing, the parties agree to paternity, the court will immediately enter an order establishing fatherhood. If not, the court may order a DNA test.

Contact the Law Office of Len Conner & Associates

To learn your rights and options in a paternity dispute in Texas, contact our office online or call us at 972-445-1500 (toll free at 877-613-5800). Your first consultation is free of charge.

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Len Conner & Associates

600 John Carpenter Freeway,
Ste 238
Irving, Texas 75062


Phone: 972-445-1500

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