Paternity Actions in a Divorce

Divorce is usually a stressful occurrence when there are children involved. Two people who decide that they simply cannot live with each other can mutually agree to dissolve their marriage with little or no fuss. In Texas, a no-fault divorce is allowed, meaning it is not necessary to establish fault as grounds for divorce. However, when there are children involved, the case is altered in a many ways, especially when paternity actions in a divorce come into the picture.

Paternity actions come into play when there are issues concerning child custody, child support or child visitation rights. If the divorce was contentions, the wife may claim that the husband is not the biological father, and therefore does not have any custodial or visitation rights to the child. Alternatively, the husband may deny paternity of the children to avoid paying child support. Paternity actions are legal remedies that will establish who the biological father is before the court.

However, an article on the website of Woodlands-based law firm BB Law Group PLLC, there are many conditions regarding paternity actions which can complicate matters, including the statute of limitations. Under some circumstances, it may not be possible to pursue this course under the Texas Family Code. A lawyer familiar with paternity actions in the county where the divorce is filed would be able to straighten out the facts of the case and provide advice regarding the petitioner’s legal options.

Establishing paternity is an important aspect of divorce in Texas, and it can greatly influence how the court decides on crucial parental rights issues. If you are considering divorce and anticipate that you may have recourse to paternity actions, consult with a divorce lawyer to find out your legal standing for this course of action. It will save a lot of time and effort if you know exactly where you stand in such a controversial matter.

Factors that Can Affect Child Custody

Divorce is difficult under almost all circumstances. Having a child or children in a divorce can make it even more challenging to proceed. This is where child custody, child support, and visitation rights come in. It may seem easy to say that both parents can share custody or have equal visitation rights; however, there are many things that can come into play which impact a court’s decision regarding child custody. The divorce lawyers of Marshall & Taylor Law Firm, P.C. state that some of these factors include:

  1. Marital status – if the parents were married and the child is born during the time of marriage, then the state law grants equal rights of guardianship of the child (or children) for the custody, control, and care. This goes the same even if the parents are not married, as long as the state recognizes that both are “legal parents” of the child. Non-legal parents, on the other hand, have little of even no legal rights on the child.
  2. Abuse – if the court determines there is abuse going on between the child and parent, or if the court believes that the child’s welfare is in danger with one parent, then parental rights can be taken away by the court. Likewise, each parent’s emotional, physical and mental ability to take care of the child is also considered.
  3. Employment – financial support is vital in child support and custody. Although a parent’s inability to provide financial support does not necessarily stop their visitation rights, every child has the right to get support from each parent. If a parent’s business or employment changes, then the child support can also change, since it all depends on the parent’s ability to earn.

Modifications on child support, child custody, and visitation rights can be complicated and can change a lot especially if certain circumstances affect each parent, therefore as advised by Alexander & Associates, getting help and guidance from a legal representative. Generally, state law and courts choose to give equal share of responsibility and custody to parents. This is to ensure that the child welfare is always in the best interest of both parties, as sometimes bitterness from the divorce can otherwise overshadow the child’s welfare.