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Paternity

This page is intended as a very general overview of the issues surrounding adjudications of paternity. The statements and information provided on this website are for informational purposes only. This site is not intended to provide legal advice to the reader and NO attorney-client relationship shall be deemed to arise from the receipt of this page. An attorney-client relationship only arises after the attorney and client have signed a written attorney-client agreement, after the attorney has evaluated the background facts provided and has accepted the representation of the client's legal action.

In Texas, when a child's mother is married at the time that she gives birth, her husband is legally presumed to be the father of the child. However, when a child is born to unmarried parents, clarifying who the father is may require one or both parents to pursue a paternity action.

Sometimes, when a child is born to unmarried parents, if both parties agree on who the father is, that man's name will be put on the birth certificate, or he will fill out an affidavit to assert paternity. However, doubts may come up later as to who the father really is. In cases where nobody asserts or acknowledges paternity at the time of birth, one party may want to establish it later in order to obtain child support or visitation rights.

In Texas, the most common method for establishing paternity is DNA testing. This can be done at a private facility or through the court system. In addition to her background as a lawyer, our attorney, Jennifer Barnett-LaFleur, also has an undergraduate degree and laboratory experience in DNA research using techniques such as DNA amplification that frequently play a role in paternity testing. This provides Jennifer a nearly-unique perspective among family law attorneys when it comes to evaluating evidence and/or cross-examining experts in DNA cases.

Paternity actions have strict statutory deadlines for someone challenging or asserting paternity, and a significant delay in either case could be detrimental down the road. Please contact us to set up a free consultation to discuss your case in more detail.

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Plano, Texas 75074