Paternity cases can be straightforward or they might be adversarial and need to go before the court. In either situation, seek help from a Sugar Land paternity lawyer who can advise you of your rights and options.
When two parents are unmarried and do not subsequently get married, one or both parents might want to establish legal paternity for the father and add him to the child’s birth certificate. There are several benefits to doing so and, sometimes, the process is relatively straightforward.
However, if only one parent wants to establish paternity – for whatever reason – the matter can become significantly more complicated. If you are facing this type of situation, reach out to a Sugar Land paternity lawyer as soon as you can.
Disagreeing on Paternity
There are different scenarios in which someone might not agree to establish paternity. For example:
- The mother of the child believes that the father is someone other than who is trying to establish paternity.
- The mother does not want to reveal who the father is for various reasons.
- The man does not believe he is the biological father of the child.
- The man knows he is the father but wants to avoid legal establishment because he does not want parental rights or responsibilities.
If a man believes that someone else is the father, he understandably would not want the parental rights and obligations under Texas law for a child that is not his. Likewise, a mother does not want a man’s name on her child’s birth certificate if the man is not the father.
If two individuals cannot agree on the matter, it can be possible to negotiate out of court. Our attorneys can help facilitate an independent paternity test, and the results of the test might clear the issue up. However, if one parent will not agree to an out-of-court compromise and paternity test, the matter will need to go before the court.
What Happens in Court?
Generally, the family court will begin by ordering a paternity test to clear up whether the man involved in the case is the father. If not, the court will dismiss the paternity suit. If so, the legal process will continue.
The family court will issue an order adjudicating parentage, which legally establishes paternity and adds the father’s name to the birth certificate. Then, the court will want to resolve the following:
- Child conservatorship arrangements
- Child support orders
Once paternity is established, the parents might be willing to go back to the negotiating table and agree on the above matters. This can save the time and other resources needed to have the court make the decision. Our attorneys can help with this process, which might involve mediation or other dispute resolution methods.
However, if the parents cannot agree, the court will need to review the circumstances of the case and make these determinations for the parents. This takes the matter out of the parents’ hands and is a more complicated process.
Speak with a Sugar Land Paternity Lawyer Today
Whether you can resolve a paternity case out of court or need to seek a court order, a Sugar Land paternity lawyer at Jamie Jordan, PLLC, is ready to represent your rights. Call (832) 430-6200 or contact us online for more information.