Under Texas Law and the Texas Family Code, a child born during a marriage is presumed to be the child of the husband and wife. This means that the husband of the marriage is presumed to legally be the father, not the biological father. So if a woman gives birth to a child whose father is not her husband, her husband is still presumed to be the father unless additional steps are taken to adjudicate the paternity of the biological father. These steps include:
- Denial of Paternity – The husband must sign a denial of paternity form which states that he knows that he is not the biological father of a child.
- Acknowledgement of Paternity – AOP – Form 1608– The biological father of the child can sign an acknowledgment of paternity, which is filed with the Bureau of Vital Statistics. This form is where a biological father states that he knows himself to be the father of a child.
- Paternity Test – A paternity test of the child and biological child may be necessary to prove the actual paternity if an acknowledgment of paternity is not signed or is invalid.
- Petition to Adjudicate Parentage – Next you will need to file an original suit alleging that your husband is not the presumed father and request that the Court adjudicate the biological father as the legal father. This is where you will use the above documents to help establish paternity.
- Divorce – If the paternity of a child is an issue during a divorce, the paternity can be adjudicated within the final decree of divorce using the above steps.
The resulting Order Adjudicating Parentage or Final Decree of Divorce, along with establishing paternity, will include provisions regarding conservatorship, access and visitation, and child support. Once a man has been adjudicated as the father of a child he is that child’s father for all legal purposes and now has a legal obligation to that child.
As a husband is the presumed father until he is determined to not be the father of a child of the marriage, he will be legally responsible for child support, medical support and taking care of a child that is not biologically his until the above legal steps are taken. As such, it is very important that a father protect his rights to either claim his biological child or prevent being responsible for a child that does not belong to him.
If you are currently married and want to establish paternity of a child that is not your husband’s, or if you are the husband and you do not believe a child is yours, please contact the Ramos Law Group, PLLC so that we can begin the steps to properly adjudicate the paternity of the child. You can also visit us on the web at www.ramosfamilylaw.com.
Disclaimer: The material obtained from this site is not intended to be legal advice. Please consult an attorney for advice regarding your own legal situation.