For many of the separated parents in San Antonio that we work with here at The Law Office of Roland R. Esparza, P.C., the issue of paternity often comes up. When you need financial assistance from the father of your child in order to meet the expenses of parenthood, it is often required that you first establish paternity. Thus, when faced with this situation, it is important that you understand the criteria the court uses when legally identifying a man as the father of a child.
Most assume paternity means being the biological father of a child. Yet in the eyes of the legal system, it goes far beyond just that. The requirements used as the guidelines for establishing paternity in Texas can be found in the state’s Family Code. It states that the court may presume a man to be the legal father of your child if:
- You are married at the time of your child’s birth.
- Your child is born within 301 days of your divorce, annulment, or the invalidating of your marriage.
- He voluntarily asserts his paternity.
- He primarily lived with your child during the first two years of the child’s life, and presented himself to others as the child’s father.
The presumed father may ask to have his paternity verified through genetic testing. However, the court may choose to deny such as request if his own conduct speaks against his denials of being your child’s father. It may also decide to deny a request if, after taking into account the best interests of your child, it determines that he or she would experience significant harm or see his or her circumstances drastically altered by disproving your former partner’s parentage.
For more information determining post-separation parental responsibilities, please continue to look through our site.