The results of a paternity test can drastically change family dynamics or have virtually no effect at all, depending on the situation. But what are the legal ramifications? Seasoned McKinney family lawyers explain the consequences of establishing paternity in Texas. 

Background on Paternity Laws in Texas

Texas law presumes that a child born to a married couple is the legal child of the husband. However, a paternity test could rebut that presumption and cause a court to issue an order declaring that paternity belongs to someone else. 

When a child is born out of wedlock, a paternity test can establish the child’s legal father or demonstrate that a man presumed to be the biological father is not and therefore does not have legal responsibilities pertaining to paternity. 

Testing is not the only way to establish or deny paternity. In many situations, McKinney family lawyers help fathers prepare legal paperwork to gain legal recognition of paternity. However, if filing requirements are not met, the documents may not take legal effect under Texas law. 

What Happens After Paternity is Established in McKinney?

If the DNA test results demonstrate to the court’s satisfaction that the man tested is the child’s biological father, the court should issue an adjudication of parentage. This is a court order making that man the legal father of the child, and his name will then be added to the child’s birth certificate. 

The consequences of establishing paternity in Texas can include:

  • Access to financial support. Both parents are legally required to provide financial support for their children, so establishing paternity can give a child access to an additional source of support. In addition, McKinney family lawyers could assist in efforts to collect or modify support if necessary.
  • Rights to parental role. After paternity is established, a legal father gains the right to seek custody and visitation time with a child. 
  • Vital medical information. When a paternity test identifies a biological father, then it is possible to gain medical history information that could prove essential in identifying and treating various medical conditions.
  • Access to potential benefits. Establishing paternity can enable a child to receive benefits such as those provided through insurance companies, Social Security, and the Veterans Administration and could provide inheritance rights.

Additionally, a presumed father can be relieved of obligations once paternity has been established with someone else. 

How Do I Get Help with Paternity Issues in McKinney?

Whether parents seek to establish their rights voluntarily with legal paperwork or through a court-supervised process, McKinney family lawyers could provide advice at any stage in the process. It is important for everyone involved to understand their obligations and how to enforce their rights going forward. In addition, an experienced paternity lawyer could assist with custody, child support, and other issues that arise after paternity is established.

Talk to Our Dedicated McKinney Family Lawyers

At Nordhaus & Nordhaus, we understand that paternity issues need to be handled with care, compassion, and strict regard for your privacy. For a free consultation to learn more about how our experienced, knowledgeable McKinney family lawyers could assist with your paternity case, contact us at any time.