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Family law in Texas addresses mistaken paternity

On Behalf of | Jun 23, 2011 | Firm News

Domestic concerns, paternity testing, and other matters of family law hit home for many Texans. Recently, legislators in Texas began to address a number of family law concerns in relation to the Texas Family Code. The governor of Texas is now reviewing pieces of legislation that seek to address several pressing domestic issues. One of the family law issues under the legislation’s microscope is the problem of mistaken paternity.

Cases of mistaken paternity take place when, by sheer accident or by the commission of fraud, a man becomes legally bound as the father of a child or children that are not his biological offspring. Problems with the existing law came to light when legal officials realized that in most cases, once mistaken paternity was recognized, the law prohibited the named father from moving forward with litigation. This means that any man who is named as the father of a child and fails to contest the claim with immediacy, would be legally unable to challenge the claim in a court of law in the future.

This inability to legally challenge a case of mistaken paternity would mean that the man presumed to be the father of a child would be required to meet unalterable child support obligations, as well as other legal and financial responsibilities of father to child. This is true even for men who suffer as victims of paternity fraud. However, the new legislation seeks to address the issues and concerns that plague the current mistaken paternity family law.

Men who believe they may be victims of mistaken paternity or paternity fraud may find peace of mind consulting with professionals in the local area who have a knowledge and understanding of Texas family law. A working knowledge of family law as it pertains to mistaken paternity could mean that victims would avoid unnecessary child support payments and other financial losses. Cases of mistaken paternity, regardless of by accident or by fraud, bring with them a host of emotional stresses that left unaddressed could follow victims for a lifetime.

Source: Law.com, Who’s Your Daddy? Family Code Changes Address Mistaken Paternity, Jonathan J. Bates, 06 Jun, 2011