Helping Unmarried Individuals Navigate Paternity Issues
When a child is born outside of a marriage, then the father's paternity will need to be establish to setup child support, custody and visitation. If you are seeking to establish paternity of your child's father, Sugar Land paternity attorney Chikeersha Puvvada will help you navigate the legal system to achieve your rights so you can care for your child. If you are an alleged father facing a paternity suit, Sugar Land paternity attorney Chikeersha Puvvada will strive to protect your rights through a difficult time.
What is paternity?
Paternity is the recognition under Texas law that a man is the father of a child.
What is the benefit of establishing paternity?
If a mother is seeking child support from an alleged father, she will need to first establish the alleged father's paternity of the child. If an alleged father is seeking parental rights and visitation with his child, he will need to first establish his paternity of the child.
Is there any way an unmarried man can be the presumed father of a child?
Yes if during the first two years of the child's life, the man continuously resided in the same household as the child and represented to others that the child was his own.
How can paternity be established if the parents are not married?
There are two ways an unmarried couple can establish the paternity of a child. If the parents agree on paternity, the parents can execute what is known as an Acknowledgment of Paternity. If the parents do not agree on paternity, a court can establish (a.k.a. adjudicate) paternity in a paternity lawsuit.
Can I take back an Acknowledgement of Paternity?
A parent who signed an acknowledgement of paternity (AOP) can rescind the AOP if no lawsuit regarding custody or child support has been filed and less than 60 days have passed since the latter of the birth of the child or the completion of the AOP.
Who can file a lawsuit to establish paternity?
The following people and entities can file a lawsuit to establish paternity: 1) the child, 2) the mother of the child, 3) a man who believes he is the father of the child, 4) a child support enforcement agency, 5) an adoption agency, and 6)if the mother of the child is dead, then at least a second-degree relative of the mother. Once a child without a presumed, acknowledged or adjudicated father is an adult, only the child can file a suit to establish paternity.
Where can I file a paternity suit?
If the child is in Texas, in the county where the child lives or is found. If the child isn't in Texas, the county where the party not filing the lawsuit lives or is found.
Is there a time limit on when a paternity suit can be filed?
If the child has no presumed, acknowledged or adjudicated father, no. If the child has a presumed father, then the paternity suit must be filed no later than the child's fourth birthday.
Can the Court make an alleged father take a DNA test?
Almost always, yes. The only time a Court may deny a request for genetic testing in a paternity suit is when a presumed father doesn't want the genetic testing because he doesn't want his relationship with the child terminated.
Can a Court find a man to be the father of a child without a DNA test?
Yes. If the Court orders an alleged father to take a DNA test and he refuses, the Court is authorized by law to adjudicate that man as the father of the child. A Court can also adjudicate an alleged father as the father of a child without a DNA test if the alleged father admits to paternity.
If my paternity was either adjudicated or acknowledged without a DNA test, do I have any options if it turns out I'm not the biological father?
Yes. If it's been less than 2 years since you learned you're not the biological father and the reason you acknowledged paternity or admitted to paternity in a paternity suit without a DNA test was because you believed you were the father due to lies you were told.
Visit our FAQ section to learn more.
If you need help with establishing or fighting paternity, contact Sugar Land paternity attorney Chikeersha Puvvada at 281-313-5300 or online today to schedule a consultation. Due to the "Stay Home to Save Lives" order issued in Fort Bend County on March 24, 2020, our office will only be available by phone and teleconference until April 4, 2020.