While it might seem that mistaken paternity is a rare occurrence in Texas, it can happen more frequently than most people realize. There are many reasons for this, but the crux of the matter is that men who thought they were the father of a child and were ordered to pay support might not have been obligated to do so. There are certain family law issues that center around disputes regarding paternity and all parties must be aware of them.
If a many believes that he is not the father of a child for whom he had been ordered to pay child support, the courts can terminate the relationship if it is proven that there was mistaken paternity. If a man meets the criteria, it is possible to have genetic testing. When he has been excluded as the biological father, the relationship can be terminated along with the requirement to pay support. If there were arrears for unpaid child support, the man is still required to pay them even if he is not the biological father.
Child support can be questioned based on paternity by filing a petition to end the parent-child relationship. There will be a pretrial hearing to determine the man’s eligibility to have genetic testing. Since September 1, 2012, the filing must be made at least on the first anniversary of when the man was made aware that he was not the biological father. If the man is found not to be the child’s biological father, he will no longer have to pay child support as of the date of the order. In some cases, the man might have developed a relationship with the child and would like to maintain it. The court can order periods for the man to see the child if the child’s interests are at stake.
Paternity is a complicated matter and one of the more contentious issues is if the man finds out that he is not the biological father. Numerous factors must be navigated in such a case. Discussing it with a lawyer who is experienced in fathers’ rights, paternity, a paternity test and more is essential to settling it in a satisfactory manner.