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How can you Establish Legal Paternity and Rights and Obligations thereof in Houston?

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  • How can you Establish Legal Paternity and Rights and Obligations thereof in Houston?

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One of the ranging debates in and out of courts is how best the legislation can enshrine the legal rights of a man proved to be the blood relation of a child. A lot of lawsuits have been brought to the Houston courts to determine what should happen once a father – although not living together with the mother – can take the responsibility of raising a child he fathered. As the debates ranges on, a Houston divorce lawyer can help you make sense of it all. It is not a ‘Disney land’ walkover, but with the help of the qualified Houston divorce lawyer, it will be easier to understand the legal thinking behind all the paternity legal provisions.

Establishing Paternity

There are three methods that the paternity of a child can be established. The first one is producing a birth certificate, duly signed by the father in question and from the hospital that the child was born in. The second method is when a court of law orders a medical genetics comparison test (commonly referred as DNA test). If the results affirm that the genes makeup is similar, then the court declares the man as the father. The third way paternity can be established is if under oath and in a court of law a man admits paternity.

The rights that accrues after the paternity establishes you as the father

The law gives a father a right to visit his children. This can be as regularly as agreed with the child’s mother or in case of disagreement, as provided for in the standard visitation schedule decreed by a judge. This schedule is similar to the one given to a parent that is not staying with the kids but has divorced his spouse. Another right that you will accrue after being declared the father to a child is making decisions that affect the child’s life such as medication, education, holidays, residence and many more. Of course with rights come obligations. You cannot say you have a right to make the decision of where a child goes to school and yet you are unwilling to contribute towards that education.

Obligations of a father once paternity is established

Under the Texan law, your Houston divorce lawyer will advise you that you are obligated to support your child. Support should not only be financial, it should also be emotional. In fact, this obligation can at times extend to the mother of the child since she spend most of her time taking care of the child and has no time to earn a living. Sometimes the judge may order that you pay the mother of your child maintenance money if you have not voluntarily done so, and if the mother of your child petitions the court to make such an order. Paying for the children’s housing, utility bills, school fees, transport, clothes, medical insurance and many more is the duty of the parents. If you fail to agree with the mother of the child what bills each of you will take care of, then the court will establish a schedule that each of you must honor.


Michael Busby Jr. is a Divorce, Family Law, & Houston Divorce Lawyer,  who practices in Harris County Texas and the counties that surround Harris County, Texas. He has been in practice for over 14 years and has tried over 300 cases.  He is familiar with the policy and procedures of the Harris County Texas Divorce Courts.   Our office is open until 8:30 p.m. on Wednesdays and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. for working folks.


Michael Busby Jr.

2909 Hillcroft Suite 350

Houston, Texas 77057

(713) 974-1151

Visit me on the web at www.busby-lee.com