Becoming a parent is often the happiest time in a person’s life. That happiness could be dampened if you have reason to believe that the child is not yours, either at birth or down the road. In those situations, you will want to work with our compassionate family law attorneys.
Our Austin paternity lawyers at Angela Faye Brown & Associates could help you take the DNA test and use the results to come up with a child custody plan.
Any baby born within a married couple is assumed to be the husband’s child. If both people agree, the husband’s name goes on the birth certificate, and everyone goes home.
However, if the man and woman are not in a relationship, or either person doubts who the biological father is, the man must take a DNA test. These tests can be done by using blood or a cheek swab. Depending on the results of the paternity test, a competent attorney could begin the custody and child support case.
A paternity test is a tool to determine who should be taking care of the children. A biological father is not necessarily required to raise the child. They may choose not to go to the kid’s sports’ games or parent-teacher meetings, or even interact with the child at all. However, regardless of the man’s involvement, as soon as the test proves they are the father, they will be responsible for paying child support. On the other hand, if a man believes he is the father and wants to be involved, a genetic test can ensure that happens.
Some mothers will not want to share their baby with its father. She might try to prevent the test from being done, so she does not need to be separated from her child. A dedicated lawyer in Austin could push the court to require a genetic test between an eager potential father and child.
Another way paternity tests can affect custody is if a mother is in danger of losing her children because child protective services, or CPS, has been tipped off to an instability in her life. CPS will often look to make familial placements before sending a child into the foster system. If a paternity test uncovers a father willing to house and support a child, that is often the best solution for everyone.
The reason a potential father usually contacts an attorney is to use the threat of court to encourage the mother to show up to take the test. A judge can threaten to hold uncooperative parties in contempt of court, which could mean spending time in jail if they still will not work the lawyers.
On the other hand, a man may call a lawyer because he has confidence that he is the father, but he does not wish to be associated with the child or its mother. He may be married to someone else and be looking for a way to keep the affair quiet.
The flip side of that is if the mom does not want this child associated with the father. She may have found out after she became pregnant that the father is married or has substance abuse issues. By working with a dedicated attorney, a mother can try to protect their child from its father, while still receiving child support.
Whether you are a father who wants to stay close to his children or a mother who needs to protect her kids from a dangerous father, our seasoned Austin paternity lawyer could advocate for you. We could make sure everyone cooperates in taking the test and then use the best interest of the child to determine custody. Reach out to Angela Faye Brown & Associates today to learn more.