Establishing Paternity in Houston: Legal Guidance

Legal Steps to Determine Fatherhood in Houston

Paternity establishes the identity of a child's father. When a parental relationship exists, the father can secure the right to raise and support the child. In Texas, the three ways to establish paternity are by presumption, voluntary acknowledgment, and court order.

When one or both parents have questions regarding the paternity of a child, it may be necessary to pursue legal action. If you need assistance with a paternity issue, Houston paternity lawyer Kay Polk can analyze your situation and discuss the necessary steps you need to take to reach a resolution. With a 19-year history of protecting clients’ rights in paternity and all types of family law proceedings in Harris County, Kay Polk is qualified to handle your case.

Contact our offices at (713) 234-6260 for additional insight and information.

Understanding Presumed Fatherhood in Texas

According to Texas statutes, a presumption of paternity exists when a married couple has a child. There is also a presumption of paternity if a man is identified as the father on the child's birth certificate or if he married the mother of the child after the birth and filed the necessary paternity documents with the Vital Statistics Unit. When a couple isn't married, the man is presumed to be the father if he lived with the child continuously for two years after the birth and represented himself as the father to other people.

Voluntary Paternity Acknowledgment in Houston

An Acknowledgment of Paternity is a document that states the identity of the father and is signed by both parents under the penalty of perjury. When the completed form is filed with the Vital Statistics Unit, the father is legally granted the rights and duties of a parent. Filing the form is free of charge and available at the hospital when the child is born. If there is a presumed father who isn't biologically related to the child, he must sign the Denial of Paternity section of the form in order to avoid being recognized as the legal father.

Initiating Paternity Lawsuits in Houston

Sometimes, it is necessary to initiate a paternity lawsuit in order to verify the identity of a child's father. The people or entities eligible to file a paternity suit include:

  • The mother
  • The child
  • A presumed father who is challenging paternity
  • A man who believes he is the child's father
  • A person who is intended to be the parent according to a contractual agreement
  • A government agency

Get Help from Houston's Trusted Paternity Attorney

Due to strict deadlines and complicated legal procedures, it is advisable to seek guidance from a skilled lawyer if you are dealing with any type of paternity matter. In addition to her legal experience as a family law and divorce attorney, Kay Polk worked as an amicus attorney, where she was appointed by the court to represent the best interests of the child in legal proceedings. This has given her an additional, in-depth understanding of the many legal issues that affect children and parents in family court.

Find out how Kay Polk, Attorney at Law can help you by calling (713) 234-6260.

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