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Sometimes parties have children outside of wedlock these days and while this no longer presents a legal advantage or disadvantage, the biological parents often wonder how to legally establish that someone the actually paternity of a child after the child is born.

Someone who believes he is the father of a child can file an acknowledgement of paternity form with the Texas Department of State Health Services. The filing of an acknowledgment of paternity is an official acknowledgement by a man that he is the father of a child, and establishes a legal relationship with the child which provides him with all of the rights and duties of a parent. A father who files an acknowledgement of paternity is referred to as an “acknowledged father”.

On the other hand when no acknowledgement of paternity has been filed, a man who alleges himself to be, or is alleged to be by the mother of the child, is called an “alleged father”. An alleged father does not have the same established legal relationship with the child as an acknowledged father and must instead file suit to establish any rights as a parent.

Additionally, under certain facts the Texas Family Code can establish a legal presumption that a man is the father of a particular child. This is a “presumed father,” which includes a man who is married to the mother of the child at the time of birth or a man who married the mother after the birth and made assertions that the child is his. There are other circumstances in which a man could also be a presumed father as well. Although the law creates this presumption of parentage, there are legal avenues to deny this presumption if a man asserts that he is in fact not the father of the child.

Under any of the above circumstances, a paternity suit or a suit affecting the parent-child relationship can be filed with the court. These types of suits are not only designed to formally establish that someone is the father of a child, but also to establish the rights, duties and responsibilities of both parties, including custody, support, and possession of a child.

Contact the Aqrawi & Nguyen Law Firm, PLLC today at 1-844-LAW-2121.