Paternity Dispute Causing Child Support Problems?

Let our Houston Child Support Lawyer Explain

Photo of Birth CertificateEven if parents are unmarried, they have the same rights and obligations as married parents. Establishing paternity can be essential to determining important issues, such as whether child support must be paid and whether visitation rights exist. However, proving paternity can be complicated in many cases, and, accordingly, it is always a good idea to speak with a Houston family attorney when facing paternity issues.

Determining Paternity

Paternity is generally established by DNA testing of the child and potential father. DNA is usually collected through body fluid, blood or tissue. However, DNA testing is not ordered if:

  • Paternity can be sufficiently established by other means, or
  • Both parties admit paternity and waive the testing

If one party refuses to submit samples for purposes of genetic testing, the court may use the refusal to hold against that party. If the father is deceased, a Texas court can order that DNA testing be conducted on his remains for purposes of determining paternity.

Enforcing the Child’s Rights

If it is determined that the alleged parent is indeed the parent of a child, that individual may be held responsible for paying child support. This child support is calculated according to the Texas child support guidelines. Failure to pay child support as required by the court can result in the garnishment of wages and jail time.

In addition to receiving support from each parent, children are also entitled to certain rights with respect to their parents, such as the right to privacy when speaking to either parent, the right to express feelings and the right to be protected from parental warfare.

Protecting Each Parent’s Rights

Each parent is afforded certain rights when it comes to his or her children. For example, each parent has the right to seek custody of the child. When determining child custody, courts look at the surrounding circumstances, including the prior role of the parents in raising the child, the fitness of each parent and the best interests of the child. Likewise, the non-custodial parent has the right to visit the child. Visitation rights are only denied in circumstances in which there is prior abuse.

Assisting Houston Families With Paternity Issues

If you are facing paternity issues, the Houston divorce lawyers at our firm are available to assist you. We have experience with a wide variety of divorce and family law issues, including determining and enforcing paternity rights, as well as Houston child support law. For assistance with your paternity issues, contact an experienced Houston child support attorney at the Houston divorce law firm of John K. Grubb & Associates, P.C., today.

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