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Paternity Lawyer Houston Texas

Determining Parentage and Challenge of Paternity

Many complex issues surround the topic of paternity. Suits affecting the parent child relationship can be stressful. There are four separate categories in Texas that fathers can fall into: Alleged, Presumed, Adjudicated and Acknowledged.

When individuals who are not married have a child, serious disputes can arise concerning the establishment of paternity. Once paternity has been established, then there are questions of custody, visitation and support. A mother can file a paternity suit and the one she chooses will depend upon the status of the father.

Alleged Father

An alleged father is a man who is not a presumed father, but who is alleged to be the father. His name does not appear on the child's birth certificate and he has not acknowledged Paternity. The individual alleging paternity (also the person filing the lawsuit) must prove that the man is the father of the child. This is most often done through genetic (DNA) testing. A Suit to Determine Parentage is the most effective strategy.

Presumed Father

The presumed father is presumed under the law to be the child's father, but there may be questions and that presumption can be challenged in a court of law. This situation might occur with a married couple who has a child together. Though the husband may indeed be the father of the child, if he has doubts about this, he can challenge that presumption. Certain conditions apply.  In the case of a presumed father, the man may file a Suit Affecting the Parent Child Relationship.

Adjudicated Father

An Adjudicated Father has already been determined by a court of law to be the child's father, normally through a "paternity suit."  This term is often used in divorce cases where a child was born during the marriage. It is difficult but not impossible to challenge the paternity of an "adjudicated father." Recent changes in legislation have made it somewhat easier but certain conditions must be met.  

Acknowledged Father

An Acknowledged Father has admitted to being the father of the child and signed a special document known as an "Acknowledgment of Paternity". This document is filed with the State Paternity Registry, and it effectively creates a legal relationship between the man and the child. New legislation makes it easier for An Acknowledgment of Paternity to be challenged under certain circumstances.

Contact Us Today For a Free Consultation

Burton Law Firm of Houston, Texas works with families every year who are struggling with paternity issues. With years of experience, Tom Burton tackles even the toughest cases.  As General Counsel for Justice for Children, Tom was responsible for all aspects of legal representation and litigation. He creates creative strategies that can give your case the edge over your opponent.

 Tom Burton at Burton Law Firm gives his clients personal care. He listens to their needs and works alongside them to achieve a favorable outcome. Call today to schedule your appointment with one of Houston's leading attorneys.


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Burton Law Firm is located in Houston, TX and serves clients in and around Tomball, Houston, Fort Bend County, Harris County, Montgomery County.

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