Experienced Paternity Lawyer in Houston
Fewer American households than ever are married couples with children—only about 20% —which corresponds to the fact that more and more people don’t think you need to get married before having children. Single-parent and blended families are increasingly common, and modern families aren’t defined by DNA. However, from a legal standpoint, paternity still matters, and verifying paternity is important for your child’s financial stability, emotional security, and overall wellbeing. At our Houston family law office, our paternity lawyer helps clients with paternity matters, from establishing paternity to seeking child support based on paternity, always handling these cases with sensitivity and determination.
Reasons to Verify & Establish Legal Paternity
There are several reasons to verify and establish paternity. For one, identifying your child’s father provides access to legal rights and privileges, including child support, health and life insurance benefits, and Social Security. Confirming paternity also ensures medical history and other genealogical information are available to you and your child. Finally, with paternity established, your child has a better chance of forming emotional ties with his or her biological father and/or his family, which fosters a sense of identity.
Texas Paternity Law
When a baby is born to parents who are not married, Texas law does not recognize the biological father as a legal parent. This leaves the child, mother, and father without any legal rights related to each other until paternity is established. To do so, the mother and father can sign a legal form called the Acknowledgment of Paternity (if both agree he is the biological father of the child), or unmarried parents can get a court order naming the legal father.
To get a court order establishing paternity, you can file an application for services with the Office of the Attorney General (OAG) and go through a child support review process, or you can file a paternity petition in court asking that an alleged father be named the legal father. Then, the OAG’s Child Support Division or the court will order a DNA test determining paternity. After paternity is established, child support, medical support, and a possession (custody) order can be established as well. An experienced Texas paternity lawyer can give you more details and aid and represent you throughout the entire process.
Speak with an Experienced Houston Paternity Lawyer
If you want to verify and establish your child’s paternity—as a mother or father—the Law Office of Maria S. Lowry can help. We’ll determine how to best proceed through the Texas legal system, whether by applying for child support or filing a paternity petition in court, and we’ll work earnestly to achieve a fair and favorable outcome in your case. Call 713-850-8859 to speak with a compassionate and experienced Houston paternity lawyer today.