You’re the biological father of a newborn Texas baby. There’s no question that you are the legal father, right?
Hang on. There just might be.
The bottom line concerning Texas paternity law is that it is anything but simple and direct. In fact, we note at the established Dallas family law firm of Katie L. Lewis that it is “detailed and confusing.”
What that sometimes mean is this: Males and females alike who think that paternity is a cut-and-dried matter can easily find that relevant law doesn’t align with their expectations.
Back to that above question regarding fatherhood. We duly stress on our website that “the legal definition of fatherhood is dependent upon biology, timing, marital status and a variety of other factors.”
Does that clear things up?
We didn’t think so. In fact, it is likely the case that either a male or female having questions or concerns regarding paternity will reasonably want to consult with proven paternity legal counsel. Following are a few key paternity-linked points to note.
First, being a biological father does not equate by itself to legal fatherhood in Texas. If you are a dad who is married to a woman when she gives birth, you are automatically deemed a legal parent. If you are unmarried, though, paternity must be established.
That is done through voluntary acknowledgment or involuntarily pursuant to a court order. Either a mother or father (as well a child or state authorities) can file a formal “Petition to Adjudicate Parentage.”
Establishing paternity can have material and wide-ranging consequences for all affected parties. An experienced family law attorney can provide further information and, when necessary, diligent legal representation.