Compassionate Counsel In Matters Of Paternity
Establishing paternity is crucial when it comes to your rights regarding custody, visitation and child support. Paternity can also play an important factor in adoptions – especially stepparent adoptions.
The Conroe-based firm of The Law Office of Amy R. Harris PLLC can assist you if your case involves complicated paternity issues. We accept cases of all varieties, including:
- Fathers who wish to obtain custody and visitation
- Parents who need to collect child support
- Stepparents who wish to legally adopt a stepchild
- Parents who need to modify a court order involving a child
- Parents who need to terminate the rights of an unfit parent
We know that you are experiencing an emotional situation. Through compassion, skill and personal attention, our firm will help you with every step of your case until we attain the best available outcome.
How Does Paternity Work In Texas?
Biological paternity is much different from legal paternity. When a couple is married, the state automatically grants paternity to the husband. If a couple is unmarried or has divorced, the mother or father must establish paternity through the court.
One way is for each parent to sign an acknowledgement of paternity. Another way is for one parent to petition the court to establish paternity through a DNA test. It is necessary to establish legal paternity for a man to enforce his rights as a father or for a mother to collect child support.
Stepparents Who Wish To Adopt Must Understand Paternity
With blended families becoming more common, many stepparents wish to legally adopt their stepchildren. However, this becomes difficult when it comes to the biological parent’s rights. The state usually requires both biological parents to consent to an adoption. There are a few exceptions, though, such as:
- The court has terminated the other parent’s rights.
- The child’s birth certificate does not name a biological father.
- The other parent does not challenge the adoption within six months.
The Law Office of Amy R. Harris PLLC can help you understand and comply with the state’s complex adoption laws, ensuring that your adoption goes as smoothly as possible.