Paternity A Legacy of Excellence in Family Law

Bellaire Paternity Lawyers Providing Legal Services to Clients Looking to Establish Legal Paternity

While every child has a biological father, not every child has a legal father. When a child is born to an unmarried couple, there are a few steps that need to be taken before the biological father of that child can gain parental rights and responsibilities. Our law firm explains the process of claiming legal paternity in Texas and how an attorney can help you at every step of the way.

When Is Paternity Automatically Established in Texas?

Establishing paternity means determining who the legal father of the child is, and entrusting him with the rights and responsibilities of a parent. In Texas, a man is automatically assigned as the legal father of a child when he is married to the mother at the time of the child’s birth. The man’s name will be added to the child’s birth certificate, and no further action needs to be taken.

It is important to mention that if the biological father of the child is not married to the mother at the time of the child’s birth, simply signing the birth certificate does not establish paternity. There are additional steps that need to be taken for unmarried couples for the man to be legally recognized as the father.

How Is Paternity Determined When a Couple Is Unmarried?

There are two methods through which an unmarried couple can establish legal fatherhood. This can be done voluntarily or involuntarily. If an unmarried couple gives birth to a child, the biological father and the mother can both agree to sign a document called Acknowledgement of Paternity, establishing her partner as the legal father of her child.

When this process does not happen voluntarily or there is some sort of disagreement, the mother, the father, the child, or even the state (if the child is receiving public assistance) can file a Petition to Adjudicate Parentage, which initiates a legal action in the court that has jurisdiction where the child lives. The court will then notify the father about the proceeding. If the father appears and both mother and father agree that the man is the biological father, the court will enter an order adjudicating parentage. If the father is notified and fails to appear, the judge will enter a default order and declare him the father.

If the father appears but is unsure or is denying paternity, the court may order a DNA test. If the results show that he is the biological father, the court will issue the order for adjudicating parentage, adding his name to the birth certificate. Additional orders such as custody, child support, and visitation may also be issued at that time.

What Are the Benefits of Establishing Paternity?

The mother, the father and the child can all benefit from establishing paternity in many ways. First, the father will have the right to include his name on the child’s birth certificate. By doing so, the child will become eligible for important resources such as public and/or private benefits accessible through the father, such as health insurance, social security, and the right to an inheritance.

In addition, children will be able to access the father’s genetic history for healthcare purposes and also to gain an understanding of their family origins and heritage.

Real Stories From Real People

Guiding Families Through the Legal Process With Compassion
    "I would not go to anyone other than ALP Law Firm for my needs."
    There are a lot of attorneys who say they will be on your side and when you hire them, they only want your money. This is not the case with Allecia. She made us feel like family and treated us with respect.
    - Travis L.
    "I will definitely recommend her to others."
    Allecia was able to handle my situation given that my now ex-husband is a narcissist. The more he prolong or delay the divorce process, Allecia was able to work around that behavior to ensure the completion and satisfaction of the divorce.
    - Jessica T.
    "If you want an ethical attorney with effective results, than I highly implore you to see her assistance."
    Mrs. Pottinger's attention to detail, application of wisdom, and "honorable" service and commitment saved me hundreds to several thousands of dollars.
    - Demetrius A.
    "Their professionalism, combined with a genuine commitment to their clients’ best interests, truly sets them apart in the legal community."
    I highly recommend ALP Law Firm and Attorney Allecia Pottinger to anyone seeking expert legal guidance in divorce, child custody, or family law matters in Houston.
    - Brian A.
    "The lawyers are great and I highly recommend this firm."
    ALP Law Firm was very knowledgeable and helpful in my divorce case. Although it was a little complicated, they helped explain things to me and put me at ease.
    - Chris V.
    "I would highly recommend their services as they are well capable of positioning your case."
    I’m very happy with everything here. This a a brutally honest team that will help you understand what is going to happen, as well as what is happening.
    - Gerald W.
    "I can’t say enough good things about Ms. Allecia!"
    She is kind, compassionate and fair. I had the pleasure of really getting to know her during my time with her in mediation and she is a beautiful soul, she truly loves what she does and fights hard and advocates for her clients.
    - Denise M.
    "I recommend her 100%."
    Ms. Allecia was a great help to me when it came to my divorce. I live in Wichita Falls, TX and my ex lived in Houston where he filed. I had to get a lawyer in the Houston area and communicated via email. We got it done.
    - Kim P.

How Can a Family Law Attorney Help?

While you are not required to hire an attorney for the process of establishing paternity, it may be in your best interest to do so. A well-qualified attorney can help you file the appropriate documentation at the right time and avoid costly mistakes. Whether you are the mother or the biological father, you will benefit from the legal knowledge and negotiation skills of a well-versed paternity lawyer such as the ones at ALP Law Firm. 

If you are looking for legal help in the process of establishing paternity, contact the lawyers from ALP Law Firm and request a no-commitment case analysis today: (346) 536-9842.

Continue Reading Read Less

Our Commitment

What You Can Expect Working with ALP Law Firm
  • Fierce Advocacy
    Our attorneys are relentless in their pursuit of justice for you and your family, employing strategic legal tactics to achieve the best possible outcomes.
  • Client-Centered Approach
    You're not just a case number to us. We prioritize your well-being and work tirelessly to achieve the best possible outcome for you and your family.
  • Decades of Combined Experience
    Our team offers unparalleled experience and a deep understanding of family law, to provide you with the best possible representation.
  • Empathetic Guidance
    With firsthand experience in navigating complex family law issues, our team offers empathetic guidance tailored to your specific circumstances.
  • Accessibility and Responsiveness
    We understand the importance of timely communication, and our team is readily available to address your questions and provide updates on your case.
  • Providing Service in Spanish
    We are dedicated to serving the diverse community in Houston and providing accessible, compassionate legal assistance to Spanish-speaking clients.

Take Your Next Step

We’re Ready to Help
  • Please enter your first name.
  • Please enter your last name.
  • Please enter your phone number.
    This isn't a valid phone number.
  • Please enter your email address.
    This isn't a valid email address.
  • Please make a selection.
  • Please enter a message.
  • By submitting, you agree to be contacted about your request & other information using automated technology. Message frequency varies. Msg & data rates may apply. Text STOP to cancel. Acceptable Use Policy