Challenging Paternity in Texas

Challenging Paternity in Texas

When a child is born between a mother and a father that are not married, the child does not have a legal father. While the father may be biologically related to the child, the father has no legal rights until they establish their paternity with the state. This can be done at the hospital when the child is born or at a later time. What happens when a father that has claimed paternity for a child finds out the child is not biologically his? In some instances, a man can challenge their paternity acknowledgement in the court and remove their legal rights and obligations.

Paternity Denial Must Go Through the Court

When a man gains information that the child they thought was theirs is not, they may be able to file a Rescission of Acknowledgment of Paternity form within 60 days of their Acknowledgement of Paternity and must do so before either parent has chosen to go to court.

However, sometimes a father needs to challenge their paternity long after their legally allowed time to rescind. When this happens, the father must:

  • Prove that they signed the Acknowledgement of Paternity based on fraud, duress, or under the impression that the child was theirs, and
  • File the Petition to Challenge Acknowledgement of Paternity before any court orders are filed concerning the child.

The court can determine that the man is not the father as well. When a man chooses to go to court to rescind their paternity, they must do so before the child is four. If the father can prove that they do not have a biological relationship to the child or that the father was not involved with the mother when the child was conceived, they are eligible to rescind paternity after the four year period.

Filing for paternity can be a complex legal challenge. If you are seeking further information on denying paternity, contact a family law attorney at the Zendeh Del Law Firm, PLLC to walk you through the process.