Frequently Asked Questions about Texas Paternity Law
Information provided by Houston paternity attorneys
Having worked in the field of Texas paternity for many years, the Houston paternity dispute lawyer at John K. Grubb & Associates is often asked the same general questions by our clients. A few of the most frequently asked questions are below. If you have questions about your specific case and you need to speak with a Houston paternity dispute attorney please contact John K. Grubb & Associates today to get help.
- What is paternity?
- Is there a statute of limitations on paternity suits?
- What can be ordered by a court in a paternity suit?
What is paternity?
The word “paternity” refers to the father of the child, in both a legal and biological sense.
In Texas, if a child is born within a marriage, it is presumed that the man is the legal father, unless otherwise established in a paternity suit. If a child is born outside of a marriage, there is no legal father unless paternity is established.
Is there a statute of limitations on paternity suits?
If there is no legal father:
There is no technical time limit for filing a paternity suit. If the child is a legal adult, the adult child must file the suit.
If there is a legal father:
A paternity suit must be filed before the child’s fourth birthday unless it is discovered by a court that the presumed parents were not engaged in sexual intercourse during the time period of conception, and the presumed father did not publicly declare the child was his.
If an Acknowledgement or Denial of paternity is signed, then there is a time limit of 60 days in order to file a case. If it can be proved that the party signed the form because of duress, fraud or a material mistake of fact, then the time limit is extended to four years.
What can be ordered by a court in a paternity suit?
The court can order genetic testing in order to determine the parentage of the child.
The court can change the legal name of the child and order an amended birth certificate.
The court can order the father to pay prenatal expenses and retroactive child support.
The court can order either one or both parties to pay the costs associated with the paternity case, such as attorney fees, travel expenses, court costs and genetic testing fees.
If you still have more questions, please contact one of our Houston paternity attorneys to get your questions answered by a qualified legal professional.