In Texas, paternity of a child is presumed when a child is born during marriage. However, if the parties are not married, paternity can be established if the father signs an "acknowledgement of paternity" (AOP), has been listed on the birth certificate and/or takes a DNA test. Depending on very specific factors, the court may require a combination of the three.

To adjudicate paternity, a party should file a Suit Affecting the Parentage Child Relationship (SAPCR), which will establish the legal parent-child relationship. Moreover, the order will establish conservatorship, rights, duties and visitation. This will guarantee the parent's rights to the child.

In addition, establishing paternity ensures that children are eligible for child support, in some cases, and Social Security benefits, veteran survivor benefits, health insurance or an inheritance.

What If My Husband Is Not The Father To My Child?

If a child is born during the marriage but the child's biological father is not the husband, then the parties to the divorce will need to request an adjudication of parentage simultaneously with the divorce. This process will establish paternity and a legal parent-child relationship with the child and the biological father. Essentially, the parties to a divorce have to overcome the presumption that all children born during the marriage are children of the husband and wife. Se habla español.