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What is the law for presumption of paternity in Texas?

One of the most contentious family law issues that a couple can face has to do with paternity. In Texas, there is a law that dictates the presumption of paternity if there has yet to be a paternity test to determine who the biological father is. For parents who are concerned about a child's paternity and how it is determined under the law, it is important to understand what this law says.

With presumption of paternity, the man will be the presumed father in the following circumstances: if he is married to the child's mother and the child has been born while the couple was married; he is married to the mother and the child was born prior to the 301st day after the date the marriage was concluded due to a death, the marriage being annulled, was declared invalid, or there was a divorce; the man married the mother prior to the child's birth in what was believed to be a compliance of the law, even if it was later found to be invalid, and the child was born prior to the marriage's invalidation or the 301st day of the above-listed circumstances.

There will be a presumption of paternity if the man married the mother after the child was born and there is an assertion of paternity filed with the state's bureau of vital statistics, if he has been named on the child's birth certificate voluntarily, and he promised to support the child as if it is his own. If, in the first two years of the child's life, the man resides in the household with the child and represented himself as the child's father, this will be a presumption of paternity.

This can be rebutted if there is a filing to adjudicate parentage or if there is a filing of a denial of paternity from the presumed father simultaneous to another person providing a valid acknowledgement of paternity. Considering how difficult paternity issues can be, it is imperative for parents confronted with this issue to have legal help with an attorney experienced in the details of a paternity action. That should be the first call that should be made for assistance with fathers' rights.

Source: statutes.legis.state.tx.us, "Sec. 160.204. Presumption Of Paternity.," accessed on Nov. 30, 2015

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