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Can A Presumed Father Deny Paternity In Texas? | Father Parental Rights

Some unmarried men in the Dallas-Fort Worth area go to great lengths to show they are the father of a child. The bond gives the father parental rights and the child the opportunity to benefit emotionally as well as financially from the legal relationship. Other men are presumed to be the father of a child unless or until the presumption is challenged successfully.

A presumed father may be the husband of a woman who conceived a child or gave birth during the marriage. A presumed father also might be a man whose name is included on a child’s birth certificate due to an Acknowledgment of Paternity. Both Denials and Acknowledgments of Paternity are forms that make opposite claims about fatherhood, kept on file with the Texas Vital Statistics Unit.

A man who signs an Acknowledgment of Paternity, with the consent of a baby’s mother, is an unmarried, biological father who desires parental rights. By signing a Denial of Paternity, a presumed father declares he has no biological connection to a child. A Denial of Paternity is invalid unless the presumed father is truthful and an Acknowledgment of Paternity is signed by the mother and child’s biological father.

Other restrictions also apply to Denials of Paternity. A document is negated if a previous court order awarded the presumed father legal rights. The man’s signature also may not be included on an effective Acknowledgment of Paternity.

Denial of Paternity forms may be completed before the birth of a child, unlike Acknowledgments of Paternity, which are signed only after a baby is born. In either case, the parties have a limited time to change their minds about paternity declarations.

A family law attorney can review time restrictions for rescissions with mothers, presumed fathers and biological fathers. Lawyers also represent the best interests of unmarried and divorcing or divorced parents in child support, custody and visitation disputes.

Source: Texas Law Help, “Texas Paternity Law: Frequently Asked Questions,” accessed July 17, 2015

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