Paternity Providing Compassionate Guidance, Advice, & Advocacy

Longview Paternity Lawyer

Compassionate East Texas Family Law Services

Paternity testPaternity is another term for fatherhood. In a legal context, establishing paternity means determining who the law considers to be the father of a child. This determination creates certain rights and responsibilities for that person with relation to the child. Every child has a biological father but not every child has an established legal father.

Establishing paternity in East Texas allows the child to be eligible for benefits like child support, health insurance, veteran survivor benefits, and Social Security. It also provides the father with legal rights concerning the child.

If you need assistance establishing paternity, contact The Hollwarth Law Firm at 903-234-0711 today.

The Paternity Process in Texas

A father can voluntarily establish paternity by signing an Acknowledgment of Paternity (AOP) form. Both the mother and the father sign this form and file it with the Texas Vital Statistics Unit. The parents can complete this form before or after the child’s birth.

The AOP form can often be completed at the hospital when the child is born. It can also be completed at the county birth registrar’s office, at the Office of the Attorney General, or with other AOP-certified entities.

In situations where the parents cannot agree to complete an AOP form, paternity can be established through a court order. This method specifically requests the court to issue an “order adjudicating parentage.” In such a suit, the person who files the proceeding is generally seeking genetic testing to determine paternity. These suits are advisable if a woman has alleged a man to be a father and he is uncertain if the child is his own. The mother, father, and sometimes the child can initiate this proceeding.

In this type of situation, one of three things can happen after you file your petition to adjudicate parentage:

  • The father will fail to appear: If the father fails to appear, the court will enter a default judgment. Because the father did not appear to contest the claim, the judge will determine that he is the legal father and will enter an order accordingly, following sworn testimony regarding the relationship between the parties at the time of the child’s conception.
  • The father appears and does not contest the order. If the father appears and agrees that he is the biological father, the court will enter an order adjudicating parentage immediately but will likely encourage genetic testing.
  • The father appears and contests the order. If the father appears and does not believe he is the biological father of the child or desires confirmation that he is the father, he can request genetic testing. In situations like these, the child and the man alleged to be the father will undergo DNA testing to determine paternity. The court will enter an order based on the results of the DNA test.

The Court enters orders regarding child support, visitation, and conservatorship during these types of proceedings as well.

Is There a Statute of Limitations on Establishing Paternity in Texas?

There is no statute of limitations for a lawsuit to establish paternity in Texas. However, there is a limit on the amount of retroactive child support that a mother could recover if she prevails in a lawsuit to establish paternity.

Throughout this process, both parties have the right to an attorney. It can be extremely helpful to have a Longview paternity lawyer from The Hollwarth Law Firm on your side during this proceeding so that you fully understand your rights and responsibilities.

Give us a call today at 903-234-0711 to learn how we can help with your paternity dispute.

The Hollwarth Law Firm Staff

The Team That Keeps Our Firm Running
  • Christina  Hollwarth Photo
    Christina Hollwarth

    Founding Attorney

    Christina has practiced law in Longview since 2003, opening her own private family law practice in 2005. In 2007, she completed training to serve as a mediator in civil cases, family law cases, and cases involving Child Protective Services. She is also Board Certified in Family Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization.
  • Naomi  Krug Photo
    Naomi Krug

    Legal Secretary

    Naomi is the “sparkle” of our office. Anyone who speaks with her to set up an appointment, ask a quick question, or even just be transferred to someone else can attest to that fact! As our legal secretary and the first point of contact with our office, Naomi wears many hats: From running errands to answering phones to creating files, Naomi does a little of everything, and she does it all with a great big smile!
  • Kristi  Kemper Photo
    Kristi Kemper

    Legal Assistant

    Need to talk to Christina, but she’s not immediately available? Kristi is your go-to person for updates on your case, a shoulder to cry on, or a listening ear when you need to vent. Her hands-on approach and common sense pep talks make her an invaluable part of our team.


Client Praise & Recommendations
  • One of the few attorneys/firms I've ever dealt with that is proactive and timely with updates and conducts themself with integrity and class.

    - Jeremiah
  • Very friendly and helpful!

    - Fred
  • Christina is my newfound champion and a formidable heroine in the East Texas landscape of lawyers.

    - kc
  • Look no further for an attorney with supporting firm that will work for your benefit.

    - Kelly
  • She actually listened and was truly interested in helping me.

    - Jennifer

Why Your Family Deserves
Our Firm

Guidance Through All Family-Related Legal Matters
  • Board Certified in Family Law

    Our Attorney is Board-Certified in Family Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization

  • Highly Rated and Reviewed

    Our Firm has Strong Ratings by Established Law Associations Such as Avvo & Martindale Hubbell

  • Compassionate

    Our Firm Provides Compassionate Guidance & Advice for Families & the Protection of Children Involved

  • Experienced Mediator

    Our Attorney is a Trained Mediator for Family, Civil, and Child Protective Services Cases

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