Houston Paternity Lawyer
When the parents of a child are not married, the parent-child relationship must be established by the court and often involve paternity lawyers. Suits affecting the parent child relationship create visitation schedules, order child support, and determine the rights and duties of each parent. Suits affecting the parent child relationship, or SAPCR, are also frequently used to establish paternity.
How do I establish paternity?
Paternity can be established if the father signs an acknowledgment of paternity, is listed on the birth certificate, and takes a DNA test. It is wise to hire a paternity attorney to advise on the process. Courts require all or a combination of those steps to be taken prior to adjudicating a father and establishing a parent child relationship. If the father refuses to acknowledge his child, the Court will order genetic testing and if the DNA test confirms paternity, he will be adjudicated as the father, with all of the rights and duties of a father.
Why is a suit affecting the parent child relationship necessary?
An SAPCR creates the parent-child relationship. Without a court order in place, each parent has equal rights to the child. Either parent could then move away with the child or attempt to prevent the other parent from seeing the child. As a father, if you have not executed the proper documents at the hospital you could be denied access to your child until you are adjudicated as the father. Even if the parents are getting along, you should still establish a legal relationship with the help of experienced paternity lawyers.
Is child support required in an SAPCR?
Most courts require child support, even if the parents agree otherwise, unless the parents are living together. Child support is intended to benefit the child and is presumed to be in the child’s best interest, so courts are reluctant to waive child support.
If you truly believe your case is exceptional, you may want to speak with one of the paternity lawyers at Ramos Law Group to determine if child support is needed.
My child is still an infant, what kind of visitation will I receive?
There is no standard possession order for children under the age of three. The court will look at the age and needs of each individual child in determining visitation. Most courts believe that frequent, short periods of contact are the best solution. Some courts will order “phased in” periods of possession until the child turns three.
Under phased in possession, the parent will spend increasingly longer periods of time with the child building up to the standard possession order.
Paternity Lawyers at Ramos Law Group
Whatever situation you find yourself in, hire a Ramos Law Group paternity attorney to help ensure you follow the correct legal process. Our trained lawyers are experienced in all matters of family law, so reach out to us today!