When Does Paternity Become an Issue?
Today, you frequently hear about paternity issues because more couples are co-habiting and more single women are becoming mothers than in the past. Establishing paternity can be necessary to resolve legal issues and obtain certain rights for a child. Beaumont divorce and family law attorneys work with parents who face paternity matters to provide legal advice and represent them in legal actions. Some reasons for establishing paternity include:
* Child support obligations
* Right to custody or visitation
* Obtaining health insurance
* Medical purposes to obtain a family history
* Family connections
Legal ways to establish paternity is governed by Texas law. Chapter 160 of the Texas Family Code contains statutes that lay the ground rules for establishing paternity. The chapter defines terms relevant to paternity such as genetic testing, probability of paternity, donor, adjudicated father and presumed father. Aside from taking a DNA test, a father can acknowledge paternity by signing an Acknowledgement of Paternity (AOP) and filing it with the Bureau of Vital Statistics. The father's name then appears on the child's birth certificate and he is the legal father of the child.
Sometimes situations are complicated and consulting a Jefferson County family lawyer can help you resolve the issue and take the right course of action. For example, matters can be confusing when the mother is married to someone else but gives birth through a different biological father. Or, sometimes a baby is born prior to a divorce becoming final and the wife’s husband is not the father. Situations like these require husbands to sign a Denial of Paternity (DOP).