Thomas P. Carnes
(830) 997-7790 968 Braeutigam Road
Fredericksburg, Texas 78624

Thomas P. Carnes, A Civil Trial Lawyer Serving the Texas Hill Country
Practice Areas

Family Law

Paternity Cases

More and more there are suits affecting the parent-child relationship that do not involve a married mother and father. With regard to children born into a marriage, there is a presumption that the children are fathered by the mother’s husband. There is no such presumption in the absence of a marriage. Indeed, there may be a presumed father (the mother’s husband) who is not the biological father at all.

Obviously, in this context, DNA testing is of extreme importance. Once a man is adjudicated to be the father of a child there is no turning back; the legal parent-child relationship is permanently created for all purposes. Once one is adjudicated to be the father, there is no getting out of child support or other financial obligations. This is true even if genetic testing later excludes the person as the biological father. Thus, in the context of paternity outside of marriage, it is very important to have genetic testing performed to confirm paternity before entering into any orders naming one as a father.

Otherwise, paternity cases are just like other child cases – just without the marriage and the potential for property division. There will be conservatorship, possession, child support, and medical support issues, just as in the case of a divorce with children.

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