Because paternity can be established in Texas through both biological parents signing an Acknowledgement of Paternity, there is room for error in the absence of scientific testing. Although an individual may believe himself to be the father of a child, later information might cause a contrary belief. It is wise for parents to be sure of parentage of a child before signing an AOP to ensure that such an error is not made. However, a man who later believes that he is not actually the father of a child may file a petition to legally end the relationship between himself and the child.
Some unmarried parents in Texas may not believe that establishing paternity is very important when a child is born, but doing so provides several advantages for both parents and for the child. Establishing paternity means that the biological father of a child born to a single mother becomes acknowledged as the child's legal father. The establishment of paternity secures the child's legal rights. This might mean that the child is eligible for Social Security and other government benefits. With access to the medical histories of both parents, physicians better understand how to treat the child if the child inherits a disorder or a disease. Having a legal father could also provide the child with health care benefits under the father's policy.
In Texas, paternity cases may be filed in order to determine whether a man is a child's biological father. Paternity can be established by court order, through presumption or through the voluntary acknowledgment of a man that he is the father. Men may want to establish paternity so they can enjoy rights as a child's father, while women may want to file a paternity case so their child can access benefits, receive child support or learn of any unknown health conditions their children may have inherited.
Texas parents may want to know more about paternity suits and how they work. A paternity suit is used to legally determine a biological parent. Paternity suits may be brought by a parent wanting to maintain a relationship with a child or by a parent seeking child support. They arise when there is a disagreement about who a child's biological parents are or when one parent will not cooperate in making that determination.
A judge in Texas federal court has ruled that our state's ban on same-sex marriage is unconstitutional. U.S. District Judge Orlando Garcia wrote in his opinion that 14th Amendment clauses concerning equal protection and due process were violated by the same-sex marriage ban.
One important role that family law attorneys provide to clients concerns representation of parents in child support matters. The child support guidelines in Texas can be quite complex and child support matters can also be unfortunately contentious.