Both parents may want to determine paternity but fathers may wish to determine paternity so that they have legal relationship with their child. Paternity may also be determined for child custody and visitation purposes, as well as child support purposes. Legally establishing paternity has a number of important implications for fathers’ rights, including legal and emotional implications.

Paternity can be established in different ways and one method is through a paternity action. The process of determining the biological and legal parent of a child is referred to as a paternity action. A putative father, as well as mothers and children, can bring a paternity suit to determine paternity in Texas. In Texas, when a child is without a presumed father a suit to determine paternity can be brought at any time. If the child has a presumed father, except in certain specific circumstances, a suit to determine paternity must be brought within 4 years of the child’s birth. The husband of a married woman is the presumed father of a child born to that woman.

When paternity is not agreed upon, as part of a paternity action, the court will order DNA blood testing to determine the paternity of the child. In addition to a paternity suit, when there is a disagreement concerning paternity, paternity can be legally established when it is agreed upon by filing the appropriate paperwork in Texas. Once paternity has been legally established, legal rights and obligations can also be determined.

Determining paternity is important for both fathers and children which is why the family law process in Texas provides options to help families legally establish paternity. It is helpful for fathers in Texas to be familiar with the options available to help them determine paternity and establish a legal relationship with their child.