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New Braunfels Paternity Lawyer

Parentage Attorney Serving Seguin, Comal County, and Throughout South Central Texas

The birth of a child is a life-changing event for both mothers and fathers. However, if parents are not married to each other at the time of their child's birth, they may encounter issues related to the recognition of the child's father as their legal parent. Paternity protects a father's rights, but it also brings obligations, and it is important for parents to understand how these issues can be addressed.

Some men may impulsively sign a document establishing paternity without fully understanding the legal and financial consequences, while others may drag their feet and allow these issues to fester and grow. Meanwhile, mothers need concrete assurances of physical help and monetary support to the greatest extent possible, as opposed to mere promises from a sometimes well-meaning father. A timely paternity action solves both these problems, benefiting mothers, fathers, and especially children.

A lawyer is an "attorney and counselor at law," and that is what you will find at The Bettersworth Law Firm. Before we recommend a course of action, we will actively listen to you and accurately apprise you of your legal and financial rights. Then, we will advocate for you in whatever way possible to deliver the most cost-effective solution available under the circumstances. Whether you are a mother who is seeking child support or other forms of assistance from your child's father or a father who wishes to establish a legal relationship with your child and share in child custody, we can make sure issues related to paternity will be addressed correctly. We will work with you to find solutions that will protect your child's best interests going forward.

Establishing Paternity in Texas

The details in a paternity case are often quite overwhelming, but the overall process is relatively straightforward. There are two ways to establish paternity in the Lone Star State if the parents are unmarried:

  • Acknowledgment of Paternity (AOP): A mother and father may sign a voluntary AOP at any time either before or after the child's birth. The AOP establishes a child support obligation, but has no effect regarding custody and visitation; these issues require a separate court proceeding. Fathers typically have 60 days to reconsider and nullify the form before it becomes official; after that, it is difficult, though not impossible, to undo an AOP.
  • Court order: Either mothers or fathers may bring actions in civil court. If the matter is uncontested, the court will proceed directly to issues of child custody and child support. If the father contests the petition, the court nearly always orders a DNA swab test that is paid for by the parties. This test is noninvasive and practically 100 percent accurate.

A married husband and wife are nearly always presumed to be the legal parents of any children born during the marriage. If someone other than the mother's spouse is the father of her child, an acknowledgment of paternity signed by both parents must be accompanied by a denial of paternity signed by the mother's spouse.

Benefits of Paternity

For both mothers and fathers, legal paternity translates to additional family stability. Once the matter is fully concluded, there is no guesswork as to the mother's right to receive child support and the father's right to participate in the child's life.

In a typical child custody arrangement, the non-custodial parent has possession of the child every other weekend, every other holiday, most of the summer, and on designated weekday afternoons or weeknights. The child support obligation begins at 20 percent for one child and ends at 40 percent for five or more children. Judges have rather broad discretion to deviate from these norms.

Contact Our Comal County Paternity Attorney

A paternity action gets your family onto more secure legal footing. For prompt assistance in this area, contact The Bettersworth Law Firm at 830-606-0404. Our main office is conveniently located in New Braunfels.

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