I would like to say thank you for the job you did for me with the divorce. I thought you did a great job and that you were extremely professional. - C.H.
Dallas Mistaken Paternity Attorney
What If You Doubt You Are the Father?
On September 1, 2011, a new Texas law went into effect dealing with the issue of mistaken paternity. The new law gives men the chance to challenge paternity in court, even if a final paternity order has already been issued. The law potentially affects thousands of families across the state of Texas. If you have doubts about your status as father of a child, it is important to work with an attorney who understands how the mistaken paternity law may be used to clarify the situation.
At O'Neil & Attorneys, we have more than 20 years of experience handling family law issues in Dallas/Fort Worth and throughout Texas. We are well-versed in fathers' rights and paternity issues, and we understand how important it is for parents and children to have a well-defined relationship. As a firm, one of our strengths is our ability to stay up-to-date on changes in the law. We have thorough knowledge of the mistaken paternity law and are ready to protect your rights.
To arrange a confidential consultation with an experienced Dallas mistaken paternity lawyer, please call 972- 499-4558 or toll free 866-959-4330. You can also contact our law firm online.
Understanding the Texas Mistaken Paternity Law
Prior to the passage of the new law, a man was not allowed to challenge paternity once a court declared him to be the father. He was bound by the order even if he later took a DNA test that showed he was not actually the father. The new law fixes this unfair situation by allowing a man to terminate parental rights if genetic testing shows he is not really the biological father.
Here is an outline of how the mistaken paternity law works:
- If a man discovers a reason to question paternity after September 1, 2011, he must file a challenge in court within one year from the date he begins to doubt.
- A man who has existing doubts about paternity before September 1, 2011, has until September 1, 2012, to file.
- After filing, the judge will require the man to take a DNA test.
- Parental rights are terminated if the DNA shows the man is not the biological father.
- Any obligation to pay future child support is terminated.
- Child support already paid cannot be recovered.
What About Visitation?
It may be possible for a man who terminates paternity to have visitation with the child. However, visitation will not be allowed simply because the man wants to see the child. Rather, visitation will only be allowed if the arrangement would be in the best interest of the child. If you would like to continue your relationship with a child, our attorneys can help you present an effective case.
Contact a Dallas Child Custody Attorney
If you have reason to question your paternity, we encourage you to visit our firm, O'Neil & Attorneys, to learn about your options. Call 972- 499-4558 or toll free 866-959-4330 to arrange a consultation. You can also contact our Dallas law firm online.