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Houston Paternity Lawyer

Harris County paternity attorney

Establish Paternity With The Help Of A Skilled Attorney

Your child has a biological father, but do they have a legal father? For opposite-sex parents who were married at the time that their child was born, paternity is automatically established. Others might need to take additional steps to ensure that their child has two legal parents. While it is helpful if the biological father is interested in establishing this link, we can help you even if they are not so cooperative.

The Cusic Law Firm, P.C. believes in the importance of fatherhood. We want every child to enjoy the security of having a legal father in the picture. Whether you are a father wanting to protect your child through legal paternity or a mother needing to seek child support, our lawyers are here for you.

Why Paternity in Texas Is Important

Establishing legal paternity opens a lot of doors. An unmarried legal father can ask the court for rights to his child, including visitation. Making sure that you are legally recognized as your child's father can also go a long way toward strengthening the bond you share with your child. It demonstrates that you are truly committed to being the best parent you can be.

A mother can request and receive child support only after a legal father has been declared. Paternity can also allow a child to receive certain benefits through the father, such as the right to inherit should something happen or military benefits if the father serves.

Paths to Establishing Paternity in Texas

When you are prepared to establish legal paternity, we will first help you decide which method to use. There is more than one path to legal fatherhood for Texas residents. Again, if a mother and father are married when their child is born, the husband is presumed to be the father, and paternity is automatic. However, if someone other than the husband is the biological father, there are ways that we can help you challenge this presumption.

For all other fathers, the legal link can be established in one of two ways - voluntarily or involuntarily.

Voluntarily - As long as the mother and father are in agreement about the child's paternity, then establishing legal fatherhood may be as simple as signing a form called an Acknowledgment of Paternity. This can be done at the hospital when the child is born. It can also be done later, and it often is. You will need to mail the form to the Vital Statistics Unit and likely pay a fee to have the father's name added to the child's birth certificate.

Involuntarily - If the parents are not both willing to voluntarily establish paternity, then either of you can ask the court to step in and declare a legal father using an Order Adjudicating Parentage. The mother, purported father, child, or even the state if the child receives public benefits, can make this request.

There are three ways this can go. First, if the father fails to appear in court, the judge can issue a default order naming him as the father. If the father and mother both appear and agree that they are the child's parents, the judge can issue a paternity order right away.

However, if there is a disagreement about who the father is, then the judge will order a DNA paternity test. If the test confirms paternity, the judge will issue an order declaring the man the child's legal father.

Issues like custody or child support can also be determined in the same proceeding.

Speak With a Houston Paternity Lawyer

The Cusic Law Firm, P.C. would be happy to help you establish legal paternity for your child. Our skilled Texas paternity lawyers will work with you to determine which path to legal fatherhood makes sense for you. Contact us online or call 713-650-1866 to receive a free consultation.

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