The Houston Family Law Blog

Paternity in Houston

Paternity is the legal establishment of fatherhood. As a default, a husband is considered the father upon a child’s birth; meanwhile, a father that is not married to the mother must sign a voluntary declaration of paternity. DNA testing allows for more certainty in establishing paternity, and some states have over the counter paternity tests.

Fathers with legally established paternity have financial responsibilities, but also the benefit of visitation and custody rights. Paternity often crops up when a relationship has come to an end, or if a secret relationship is revealed, or if a father is being uncooperative. In any and all such situations, a Houston Family Law attorney is best equipped to help resolve paternity related issues.

Recently in Paternity Category

Man Not Responsible for Financial Support of IVF Baby

In Vitro Fertilization, it is the miracle that many parents prayed for when they were not successful conceiving a child naturally. Generally, IVF does not raise many parental identity issues because it is very clear where the egg comes from, the sperm comes from, and who actually gives birth to the child.

However, when a man is not married to the woman going through IVF and the child is not genetically his, a paternity challenge could arise. Something like this happened in California. Tracey Smith and Gregory Carr were dating, with Carr financing a lavish lifestyle for the two. While they were involved, Carr paid for Smith's IVF treatment, according to Courthouse News Service. Two rounds of IVF did not work, but Carr proposed that the two get married and promised to financially support her for life.

Smith accepted the proposal and underwent a third IVF cycle before Carr abruptly cut off the engagement, according to Courthouse News. Smith claimed in a lawsuit that Carr promised to financially support the child that resulted. Could Carr be responsible for the child?

Miracle Mom Having Twins at 42; What if You Deal with Infertility?

A year ago, a Houston mother was asked by her young son for a sibling. At 41, the mother, Zel Burns, and her husband Errol were doubtful, but decided they would attempt to give their son the sibling he so desired. Now 42, the miracle mom Zel Burns is nearing the end of her pregnancy with twin girls without the help of fertility treatments, according to KHOU-TV.

What about those of us that are not as lucky as the Burns family? Infertility affects almost 12% of women 15-44, according to the Centers for Disease Control. This statistic only means that there is more difficulty with becoming pregnant, not full infertility. Now there are many options when it comes to infertility, and these options come with legal questions as well.

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.

Word of Snooki's Engagement Trickling Out

The reality star, Snooki, from the (somehow) hit show Jersey Shore, is getting engaged to Jionni LaValle, reports E!Online.

Snooki is pregnant with LaValle's child as well.

Snooki, whose real name is Nicole Polizzi, could garner more attention from the reality show world with the engagement. She already has a spin-off show with fellow co-star JWoww in the works. In that show the two girls live in Jersey City (so basically New York, but still in New Jersey; it is important to be authentic).

Man Dies of Asbestos, Widow Gets Settlement, New Daughters Show Up

How does an asbestos lawsuit lead to paternity issues? It is not as far-fetched as you might think, reports the Southeast Texas Record.

Turns out that in 1998, after the death of her husband Claude Franklin, his widow, Mary Ann Franklin, joined in a class-action lawsuit against a number of oil and chemical companies.

The lawsuit alleged that companies such as Mobil Oil and DuPont exposed their workers to asbestos and that Claude Franklin died as a result of cancer in 1999, which was believed to be directly due to the asbestos.

CDC Study: Teens Having Less Sex

A Center for Disease Control (CDC) study finds that the teen sex rate is down because teens are having less sex, reports the Houston Chronicle.

The report about the teen sex rate found that 43 percent of teen girls and 42 percent of boys have had sex at least once by the age of 19. Those numbers are down from 51.1 percent of girls and 60.4 percent of boys in 2002.

Not surprisingly, the teen birth rate is the lowest in recorded history. The teen birth rate is currently at 39 per 1,000.

Dad Seeks Custody of Diann Ford Baby

An infant delivered by emergency surgery after her mother, Diann Ford, was killed in a hit-and-run, is the subject of a custody battle, reports the Houston Chronicle.

Diann Ford was a pregnant single mom when she was struck by a car walking near her work. She didn’t survive, but her child — who doesn’t have a name yet — did. And now that child is likely to be caught up in a custody battle.

Himmer Amilcar Beltran-Rodriguez Accused of Impregnating Babysitter

A 31-year-old Texan, Himmer Amilcar Beltran-Rodriguez, is accused of impregnating a teen baby-sitter, reports the Houston Chronicle.

The man from Houston has been charged with sexual assault of a child because he presumably impregnated a 15-year-old that was hired by his wife as a babysitter for their children. The girl came forward when she was 18-years-old, though the alleged incident occurred years earlier, in spring of 2008. The girl had been working for the Beltran-Rodriguez family at an apartment complex in the 2200 block of Galveston Road.

5 Reasons to Get a Paternity Test in Texas

With the pop culture scene cluttered with stories about unplanned pregnancies -- from the film Knocked Up to the TV show Teen Mom -- it is always worthwhile looking at the issue of pregnancy from a legal perspective.

One of the important elements of any pregnancy is the establishment of the father. Legally establishing the identity of the father is what lawyers refer to as "paternity."

Below are five reasons why it is worthwhile to get paternity legally recognized whenever there is a pregnancy:

SB 785 Allows Fathers to Challenge Paternity

Fathers now have the right to file a petition in court and submit to DNA testing if they have reason to believe that they are not the father of a child that they once claimed was theirs, reports The Beaumont Enterprise. Thanks to Senate Bill 785, men can now challenge paternity and can have their child support obligations terminated if a judge finds that a person has been wrongfully declared the father.

SB 785 passed in the Texas Legislature in May with a unanimous vote in both the House and the Senate. The law went into effect immediately and is now has the potential to help out dads around the state who have been victims of paternity fraud.