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Texas Divorce and Prenuptial Agreement

4550 Post Oak Place, Suite 201 • Houston, Texas 77027-3139

Phone: 713-877-8800 • Fax: 713-877-1229

Texas Presumes Paternity When Married Couples Have Children

As discussed on Monday, acknowledging paternity can be straightforward – all that is required is an AOP form with both parents’ signatures. When parents are arguing about paternity or there are marital issues involved, paternity can become more problematic, and, in today’s post, we mention a few of the more common types of paternity cases.

Unmarried parents with mother or father refusing to acknowledge paternity

Either mother or father should get in touch with an attorney or speak to someone at the Texas Office of the Attorney General. Your attorney or the Attorney General’s Office will work to track down the mother or father to instigate a paternity lawsuit. A DNA test can be ordered if the parties do not agree on paternity, and if the man is adjudicated the legal father, the parties or the court will decide issues of child custody, visitation and child support.

Married parents where infidelity or divorce is involved

Texas law presumes that a child born to a married mother is the child of the mother’s husband – in other words, if a husband’s wife gives birth, the law presumes he is the father. There are two areas where problems could arise. First, if the husband suspects that another man is the biological father of the child, the husband must sign a denial of paternity form. The biological father cannot acknowledge paternity until the husband signs a denial of paternity. If the husband refuses to sign a denial, he or his wife can pursue legal action to establish paternity.

The second case were this type of conflict could arise is in a recent divorce. The law presumes that an ex-spouse is the father of a child if the mother/ex-wife gives birth within 300 days of divorce. If either side contests paternity, the process to establish it is the same as that mentioned in the previous paragraph.

Have you been involved in a disputed paternity case? If so, contact our Houston divorce lawyers to learn how you can resolve the problem.

John K. Grubb & Associates, P.C. – Houston divorce attorneys

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