Experienced San Antonio Attorney Answers Questions About Paternity
A reputable paternity lawyer in San Antonio can resolve various legal issues
The concept of legal paternity is essential in Texas family law. It defines not only legal parenthood but also the rights and responsibilities of the individuals charged with the care of a child. Simply fathering a child places no legal obligation on a man to help raise a child. Only the legal establishment of paternity can do that.
If you or someone you love requires the services of a reputable and knowledgeable paternity lawyer in the San Antonio area, contact Joseph P. Appelt today. With nearly 20 years of experience, the firm can also help with other family law issues, such as divorce.
Establishing paternity benefits both parents
When a married woman has a child in Texas, her spouse is considered the legal father. When an unmarried woman has a child, either a court order or a paternity acknowledgement filed with the Bureau of Vital Statistics can establish paternity. The biological father and mother can benefit from legally establishing the paternity of a child.
For fathers, paternity establishes the following:
- Legal custody and child visitation rights
- The right to legally protest should the mother try to relocate a substantial distance away with the child
Paternity is essential to having child visitation rights and can also help a man establish that he is not the biological father of a child so he cannot be held responsible for financial support.
For mothers, paternity places the legal responsibility to help care for the child on the legal father. Even if the father is largely absent, he is still obligated to pay child support and help pay for medical care.
How the paternity process works
If a mother and father are unmarried when a child is born, paternity of that child can be established through either an acknowledgment of paternity or a court order.
For an acknowledgement of paternity, you must complete an acknowledgment of paternity (AOP) at the hospital, signed by both parents, and submit it to the hospital staff for forwarding to the Bureau of Vital Statistics. You can also call the Texas Bureau of Vital Statistics to request an AOP form if you did not file one at the hospital. A similar form called a denial of paternity can also be submitted to the Bureau of Vital Statistics with the AOP.
For a court order, you must obtain an application for paternity services from the Office of the Attorney General and provide the necessary personal information for yourself and the child. Also provide as much information about the other parent as possible. Submit the application, review the notices you receive in return and attend the hearing as scheduled. The judge issues an order of paternity if the resultant genetic testing shows at least a 98 percent probability of paternity.
An experienced San Antonio paternity lawyer can help you with any legal issue related to the establishment of paternity.
Learn more from a paternity attorney who can answer your questions and handle your case
At the San Antonio law firm of Joseph P. Appelt, P.C., we know the Texas paternity laws inside and out. We offer free consultations and accept all major credit cards, and our office is easily accessible. Contact us today online or at [ln::phone] to arrange a meeting. Se habla espanol.