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Paternity suits in Texas

Parents in Texas may benefit from learning more about how paternity suits are managed in the state. Court cases that involve child custody or child support often require proof of paternity. The parent who is requesting support or the parent interested in maintaining a relationship with the child can request proof of paternity. The paternity suit is a legal action one takes to determine who the biological parent is.

These lawsuits typically occur when one parent becomes uncooperative in any efforts to determine paternity outside of court. The judge usually decides how the paternity test will be paid for if both parents can't come to a mutual decision. Typically, both parties usually end up sharing the cost. A certified lab conducts the blood test on behalf of the court. The case is dismissed if the test determines that the alleged parent is not the biological parent. Child support, custody and visitation cases may be initiated once the alleged parent is determined to have at least a 99 percent chance of being the parent.

If the parents are unable to reach a mutual decision regarding visitation, child custody and child support, the courts typically intervene and decide how the parenting plan will be structured. Once paternity has been established, courts may order the child's last name to be changed to match the father's surname. In some cases, courts may issue an order to have the child maintain the mother's last name.

According to Texas law, a married woman's husband is considered to be the father, unless a paternity suit and blood tests proved otherwise. People who need help with filing a paternity suit may benefit from meeting with a family law attorney to determine how to proceed.

Source: Findlaw, "Texas Paternity Suits", August 19, 2014

Source: Findlaw, "Texas Paternity Suits", August 19, 2014

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