Parentage Suits

Dallas/Fort Worth Paternity Cases

In Texas, paternity cases usually come up when either the mother seeks child support or her child's right as an heir to the father, or the father is seeking custody/visitation rights. The responsibilities and rights of the father are the same whether he and the mother are married or not.

The Four Categories of Fathers

A DNA test is the only definitive way to establish paternity. However, even without a DNA test, paternity can exist as follows:

  • Presumed: If a married couple have a child together, the husband is the presumed father. When doubts or evidence surface, he can challenge or rebut this presumption in court.
  • Acknowledged: A father can sign a document called an "Acknowledgment of Paternity." This creates the legal relationship between the child and father. Under certain circumstances, he may challenge this presumption.
  • Adjudicated: A mother can have a court adjudicate that a man is a child's father pursuant to a paternity suit or DNA test. If he is unwilling to provide a DNA sample, the court can order him to provide one.
  • Alleged: Through a paternity suit, a man can become an alleged father if he is not an adjudicated father and he does not acknowledge paternity.

Once a court establishes paternity, each parent will have clear legal rights and responsibilities to the child and other parent.

Challenging Paternity

If a man is a presumed or adjudicated father but he is not the biological father, he may establish this with a Suit to Challenge Adjudication of Parentage.

Whatever your paternity concerns, let our experienced Dallas/Fort Worth paternity attorneys guide you through the complex process. We will review your case to help you establish your rights. Schedule a consultation to establish your suit by calling (817) 953-6265.