In situations where it is not clear who the biological father of a child is, a mother may initiate a legal action to determine parentage. This type of action can also be initiated by the Office of The Attorney General, in some cases. The man who is suspected to be the biological father of the child will be ordered to take a DNA test. What happens if your DNA test comes back positive? Our attorneys offer an overview of paternity in Texas and what to expect if you are found to be the biological father of a child.
What Happens After a DNA Test Shows You Are the Biological Father of a Child?
If the court-ordered DNA results show you are the father of a child, the court will then take steps to determine financial support orders for the child. Your income will be analyzed and a percentage of your monthly net income may have to be paid to the mother as child support. If appropriate, the judge may also determine a court-ordered visitation schedule.
What Should I Do if I Am Unsure About Whether I Want to Establish Myself as a Father?
Some men may have questions about whether they want to take on the role of a father to a child. In some cases, the individual may not be married to the mother, or the mother may be married to another man, making the situation more complicated. While there are plenty of reasons why establishing paternity is beneficial for the father and the child, not everyone may be ready to play the role of a parent.
In this situation, the law allows you to request for termination of your parental rights. This would cut off any possible ties you may have with the child, including financial responsibility and visitation rights. However, courts are hesitant to grant these types of petitions because it is usually not in the best interest of the child. Talking to an attorney is recommended in this case.
Will an Over-The-Counter Paternity Test Count as Evidence in a Court Case?
If you are planning on initiating a legal suit to establish parentage, it may be helpful to confirm you are the biological father of a child by using an over-the-counter DNA kit. While this may give you peace of mind and more confidence to start the process, the results of an at-home DNA test are not admissible in court.
How Can a Paternity Attorney Help Me?
If you have questions or need help concerning your paternity case, seeing an attorney is your best option for understanding the law applicable to your situation and your options. Contact the ALP Law Firm in Bellaire, TX, and request a confidential case analysis today.