A Texas divorce is an extremely stressful experience for all involved and dealing with a pregnancy can make it more so, it can also increase the complexity of the divorce process. It is very important not to go through a Texas divorce alone, if you are pregnant and interested in obtaining a divorce, or if you want a divorce and you are the husband, then you should talk to a qualified divorce attorney to help you. The focus of this article is on how Texas courts handle the situation when there is a question about the identity of the biological father of the unborn child during the divorce. If you are interested in learning about the life cycle of a divorce, or what you need to know regarding child custody lawsuits in general, then the following two blog posts may be of interest: The Life Cycle of a Texas Divorce and Child Custody in Texas, What you Need to Know.
Generally, In a Texas Divorce the Husband is Presumed to be the Father of the Children Born During the Marriage
Under the Texas Family Code, if your wife has a child during marriage or you are married to a man and you have a child during the marriage then the husband is presumed to be the biological father. Even if the child is born after divorce, if the child is born before the 301st day after the divorce then the husband is still the presumed father. Regarding presumed fathers, The Texas Family Code Section 160.204 states:
A man is presumed to be the father of the child if:
(B) he is voluntarily named as the child's father on the child's birth certificate; or
(C) he promised in a record to support the child as his own
There is a Four Year Time Limit to Be Aware Of
The state of Texas has an interest in not disturbing the status of a presumed father after the four year prescribed period of time. There are various reasons why different people will say this is so, but many would say that it is to promote stability in the lives of children. A lawsuit to adjudicate the paternity of a child, whether or not it is included in a divorce, when there is a presumed father, must be brought within four years of the child's date of birth or the court will not hear the lawsuit. So if there is a question as to paternity it is wise not to wait. That being said however, there are two exceptions to the four year rule and those are: if the father was misled into believing that he was the biological father and this misinformation caused him to miss out on the four year deadline, or if it can be proven that the mother and the father never lived together or engaged in sexual relations at the probable time of the conception of the child. It can be very difficult to overcome the presumption of paternity of the father after the child reaches the age of four. The Texas Family Code is section 160.607 states:
If you are going through a divorce and you are pregnant, or if you are the presumed father and you doubt paternity of the unborn child, then the biological father will likely need to be made part of the divorce lawsuit, and the Texas divorce court will likely, upon request, order DNA paternity testing to find out who the biological father is. If paternity of an unborn child is an issue, then it is not advisable to ignore the situation, or delay it, by not bringing in the probable biological father as a party to the lawsuit; the reasons being the four year rule and a Texas divorce court will likely not conclude the divorce without them being made a party.
Get a Qualified Divorce Lawyer at the Law Office of Chad Zubi to Advocate for you in Your Texas Divorce
The Law Office of Chad Zubi offers free consultations and going at your divorce alone can have tremendous consequences, especially when children are involved. The Law Office of Chad Zubi stands ready to listen to your side of the story and to provide the best representation possible. Don't make the mistake of hesitating to hire qualified legal counsel, call today to set up your free case evaluation by dialing 832-777-8924 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Tags: Divorce, Child Custody
Chad Zubi Houston Family and Criminal Law Attorney.