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Paternity Laws in Texas

 Posted on February 01, 2016 in Paternity

Texas paternity attorney, Texas complex litigation lawyer, Texas paternity laws,A Harris County judge ordered the father of Beyoncé Knowles to pay over $120,000 in past-due child support and attorneys' fees, after a paternity test showed that he sired an out-of-wedlock child in 2010.

According to a ruling by state District Judge David D. Farr, Mr. Knowles knew of the pregnancy several years ago and gave $250,000 in "hush money" to the mother in exchange for her discretion. "Mr. Knowles has zero interest, and in this court's consideration on the evidence, zero capability of being a positive role model in the child's life," the judge added. The award represents $1,500 per month in past-due child support and $50,000 towards the mother's attorneys' fees; Judge Farr awarded full custody of the child to the mother.


Either a father or a mother can bring a paternity suit in Texas, and both fathers and mothers have an interest in doing so. A paternity action is the only way to establish financial responsibility on  behalf of the parent, and also the only way to have a legal relationship with the child.

Like many other seemingly complex child custody issues, paternity matters are relatively straightforward, assuming that one has an aggressive attorney to push the case through the system; matters without full-time advocates sometimes tend to languish. There are three ways to establish paternity in Texas:

  • Presumed: There is essentially a rebuttable presumption that a child born during a marriage is the biological offspring of the wife and husband, even if the child's conception predated the parent's legal union.
  • Voluntary: In most cases, if a man signs an "acknowledgement of paternity," the document establishes a child support obligation but does not create visitation rights. Once the document is signed, it is difficult, although not impossible, to reverse it.
  • Adjudicated: Most paternity cases are resolved by a non-invasive DNA swab test that is essentially conclusive proof either way; court papers are then drawn up accordingly.

Typically, a paternity suit is filed only if one party contests parentage or there are domestic violence issues.

If you are dealing with paternity issues, contact an aggressive Leander complex litigation attorney. Call Powers Kerr & Rashidi, PLLC at 512.610.6199 today




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