The Houston Family Law Blog

Paternity in Texas: Avoid the Maury Povich Show

Good ol' Maury Povich, he is looking out for the mothers and fathers of the world by helping them determine child support and paternity issues. A visit to Maury's webpage and you're immediately confronted with video about his next show asking “who is the father?” Now that Father's Day is over, it's ok to look into these questions about paternity in Texas again.

Well, it's probably in everyone's best interest to stay off the Maury show, unless you like to trade your dignity for cash (don't answer that). While one of Maury's questions of the day is whether a paternity test destroys all trust in a relationship, it is possible that there are more than relationship issues when you're talking paternity.

Paternity is legally important for several reasons. One reason is if you have a desire to see the child, you actually have a chance of forcing visitation if necessary. Another reason is to know whether you could be liable for child support.

There are two types of tests to determine paternity, a DNA test and a blood test. Blood tests do not prove specifically that a man is the father of a child, they can only show if it is possible that he is the father. DNA tests, on the other hand, are the most accurate method to test if a child is related to a person.

In Texas, you can determine paternity either at birth, by acknowledgement of the father, by presumption (for example if the father was married to the mother when the child was born), or by DNA test. If there is confusion to who the parents are, anyone potentially related to the child can file a paternity suit to determine who the father is. This can be done by the mother, the child, the government, or the man claiming to be the father.

So if you felt short-changed this Father's Day, you can file that paternity suit and get it all sorted out, or take the test that your supposed "baby mama" keeps asking you to take.

See, dealing with paternity in Texas isn't as bad as being on Maury Povich.

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