Texas Adjudicate Parentage Proceedings Are Used to Determine If a Person Is a Child's Mother or Father
What Is an Adjudicate Parentage in Texas?
Usually, it is pretty clear who a child's parents are - but not always. Sometimes, it takes a court to make the final determination of the identity of one of a child's parents. In Texas, an Adjudicate Parentage proceeding can be used to request the court to make this decision. The Uniform Parentage Act (Texas Family Code Chapter 160, sections 160.601-160.636) provides the procedures for filing an Adjudicate Parentage action. Furthermore, this law is usually used to determine the identity of a child's father.
Who Can File for Adjudicate Parentage in Texas?
- The Uniform Parentage Act allows Adjudicate Parentage actions to be submitted by the child or his/her representative;
- The potential father whose paternity is to be determined;
- The child's mother;
- Child support enforcement agencies;
- Adoption and child placement agencies;
- Individuals who agree to be the parents of a child born by assisted reproduction; and
- The representatives of any deceased individual who could have brought an Adjudicate Parentage action while living.
What Is the Process for Filing for Adjudicate Parentage in Texas?
The first step in filing an Adjudicate Parentage action is to submit a completed "Petition to Adjudicate Parentage" with the appropriate court. The law has lots of criteria for how long someone can wait to bring an Adjudicate Parentage action.
Furthermore, individual circumstances can factor into the time. A parent can also file for Adjudicate Parentage action before the child is born.
The proceeding should include both the mother and the potential father. It doesn't matter which party brings the Adjudicate Parentage action. Furthermore, once the opposing side receives the petition, the other parties will then have to respond to the request.
Learn More About Adjudicate Parentage Order
The final step will be a hearing before a judge. To determine whether or not to issue an Adjudicate Parentage order as requested by the petitioner, the judge will consider evidence provided by both parties. Furthermore, it includes the history of the relationship between the parties. Also, it is common in Adjudicate Parentage proceedings for courts to review the results of genetic testing. Also, the judge has the right to ignore the results of genetic testing (if it is in the best interest of the child).
If the Court issues an Adjudicate Parentage order, the individual declared to be a child's parent will obtain all the rights and duties of being a parent. Furthermore, this includes custody/visitation and support obligations. Moreover, based on unique circumstances, the judge has the right to detail the responsibilities of the adjudicated parent.
The Texas Family Code Chapter 160, Uniform Parentage Act, is the statute that covers the acknowledgment of Paternity and adjudication of parentage.