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What Happens When More Than One Man Claims to Be a Child’s Father?

Posted on in Paternity

austin paternity lawyerEstablishing paternity can be challenging even when the identity of the child’s biological father is clear. When there is uncertainty surrounding the father’s identity, it becomes even more complicated. In some cases, more than one man may have a presumption of paternity, or come forward with a claim of paternity in an effort to secure parental rights. It is important for both fathers and mothers to understand how these conflicts can be resolved to ensure that the correct man is recognized as the child’s father.

Competing Presumptions of Paternity

In Texas, a man is presumed to be the father of a child if he is married to the child’s mother when the child is born, as well as if his marriage to the child’s mother ended within 300 days before the child’s birth. While it is not especially common, it is possible for these presumption criteria to apply to two different men. For example, a child’s mother may have gotten divorced from one man and then remarried another man within this 300-day period. In other cases, only one man may have a presumption of paternity, while another man wishes to voluntarily acknowledge paternity because he believes himself to be the child’s biological father.

The easiest way to resolve such a situation is for a presumed father to complete and sign a Denial of Paternity. This allows the other presumed father, or the man who wishes to acknowledge paternity, to continue with the process of establishing legal parentage.

However, if both men firmly believe they are the child’s father and want to be involved in the child’s life, neither may be willing to sign a Denial of Paternity. In this case, the matter of the child’s parentage will likely need to be resolved through adjudication. Both men will likely be ordered to undergo genetic testing, and if the results indicate that one of the men is most likely the child’s biological father, he will likely be adjudicated as the child’s legal father as well.

Competing Claims of Paternity

When no man has a presumption of paternity, competing claims are handled somewhat differently. Consider, for example, a situation in which one man and the child’s mother plan to sign a voluntary Acknowledgement of Paternity to establish the man’s parentage, but another man believes himself to be the child’s father. This second man can file a petition to challenge the acknowledgement of paternity, in which case the matter may be resolved through a similar adjudication process to the one described above.

Contact an Austin Paternity Lawyer

If you are competing with another man to be recognized as your child’s legal father and secure parental rights, you may be facing an uphill battle. At Powers and Kerr, PLLC, we can help you file a petition to initiate a legal proceeding and represent you throughout the process of adjudicating paternity. Call us today at 512-610-6199 to learn more about how our Austin family law attorneys can help.

 

Source:

https://statutes.capitol.texas.gov/Docs/FA/htm/FA.160.htm

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