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Texas Family Law Saw Many Changes Last Year

Texas Family Law Saw Many Changes Last Year

Many Laws Updated in 2011

Texas Family Law attorneyThere were many changes in Texas Family Law made in 2011. One of the most striking changes was the one that allows men to challenge paternity. Before this law, it was not uncommon for men to be required to pay child support on children that were not even theirs. The ability to demand a DNA test was more often open to women than men. If a mother claimed that a particular man was the father of her child, he was frequently considered the father of the child despite the availability of DNA testing.

According to the new Texas Family Law, even if the man has known for years that he was not the child’s father, he may not have to continue to pay child support. The new law states that he has until September 1, 2012 to file a request for DNA. If his DNA does not match the DNA of the child’s father, then he can sever the parent-child relationship and his requirement to pay child support.

What is in the Best Interest of the Child?

Under Texas Family Law, that does not mean the man has to sever his relationship unofficially with the child. He may still have visitation and other rights with the child. There have been mixed reactions to the change in the law. In some cases this is the right thing to do however; some advocates argue that a change in child support is not always in the best interest of the child. An attorney can help you navigate the complex ethical and emotional situations surrounding your personal case.

After the deadline passes, if a man complains to the court that he is paying child support on a child that he knew, or should have known, was not his own than he will have no legal recourse to stop child support payments. The other changes in the law should prevent this situation in the future, but this one opportunity to get retroactive assistance will end on September 1, 2012.

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