Paternity can be described as a legal identification of a child’s father.  When the identity of a child’s father is acknowledged by that father, a paternity action is generally limited to an allocation of parental rights and duties, as well as child custody, child support and a schedule for possession and access.  However, paternity actions become substantially more complex when the mother has engaged in adultery, or had multiple partners.  DNA testing may become necessary to determine the identity of the biological father in such circumstances.  An experienced Plano Paternity Attorney can be a critical resource when dealing with this complex situation.

Frequently unmarried parents end their relationship.  The identity of the legal or “presumed” father has not been established oftentimes.  In such cases, it is often necessary to establish paternity so that each parent can have their legal rights protected.  For example, a non-custodial parent will want a written possession schedule that may be enforced.  A custodial parent will benefit from a child support order to assist in the daily expenses incurred for the benefit of the child.


 When a child is born during a marriage in Texas, the husband is presumed to be the child’s father.  This presumption is rebuttable.  However, the ability to rebut the presumption is not unlimited.  A presumed father has a limited time in which he is eligible to challenge his paternity.  It is important to obtain the advice of an experienced plano paternity attorney when dealing with such a scenario.


An additional method of establishing paternity is for the biological father to execute an Acknowledgement of Paternity Form.  This form is available through the Texas Bureau of Vital Statistics.  This document is frequently presented to the presumed parents at the hospital following a child’s birth.  Once this document is signed and submitted to the Texas Bureau of Vital Statistics, paternity is generally established.  However, the Acknowledgement of Paternity may be revoked under certain limited circumstances.

Another method of creating a paternity presumption is by the conduct of the parties.  A man who continuously lives with a child during the first two years of the child’s life and hold himself out as the father to third parties, is presumed to be the child’s father.


 A paternity action may be brought in a family law court by a child’s mother, presumed father or biological father.  Such an action is initiated by filing a Petition to Establish Paternity.  Each party may assert their legal arguments in such an action.  When the identity of the biological father is disputed, courts frequently order DNA testing.

Once the biological father has been identified, courts will typically determine the rights and duties of each parent, as well as child support and a possession schedule for the non-custodial parent.

Contact a Plano Paternity Attorney

The issues raised in Paternity actions are complex and not always easy to identify.  Paternity actions result in long-lasting ramifications for all concerned, and can impact a child for the rest of their life.  An experienced attorney is critical to protect your rights, and the rights of the child.  Gerald Tadlock handles paternity matters on a daily basis and knows what it takes to be successful.

For more information, or to schedule an appointment with an experienced Plano paternity lawyer, call us at 214-550-1122 or contact us for an appointment.