The paternity law in the state of Texas has been changed in recent years. Previously, blood tests would be relied on to prove if a man was or was not the father of a child. However, these tests were more able to prove a man was not the father, but did not necessarily establish that a man was the father. Therefore, a lot of grey areas existed and this was a difficult and time consuming feat to accomplish.
Today, by contrast, DNA fingerprinting can establish a man’s paternal relationship to a child with a 99 percent probability. Texas Governor Rick Perry signed SB 785 into law in the wake of a six year long legislative battle. The new paternity law gives men the ability to file petitions claiming mistaken paternity. This is done by men to challenge wrongful determinations and to lift the obligation of having to pay child support.
Texas Family Code section 161.005 is the new law and it likewise means that a man who signs what is called an acknowledgment of paternity, or AOP form at the time of birth at the hospital can later challenge his paternity through a DNA test.
Paternity Law Evolution
As paternity law has evolved in the state of Texas, it has had the effect of reducing fraud and many loopholes have been closed as a result. However, in a divorce situation where child support, custody, and other issues arise, there are a number of legal consideration which remain. It is important to understand that both child support obligations and paternity laws can be far-reaching. Therefore, it is paramount that our clients know what factors will or will not impact their case.
The attorneys at the Woodfill Law Firm are practiced in this area of the law, and can use various methods to determine paternity. We strive to provide our clients with the knowledge they need and to facilitate circumstances which have the best interest of the child in mind, as well as each parent. If you have questions about paternity law in Texas, contact us.