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New Texas Law Sets Deadline to File as September of 2012- Call Your Child Support Attorney.

New Texas Law Sets Deadline to File as September of 2012- Call Your Child Support Attorney.

You Must Act Soon to Petition for a DNA Test

A new law was passed and went in to effect on May 12, 2011, regarding paternity and the application of that paternity to child support payments. If you are paying child support for a child that you do not believe is yours biologically, then you need to get a child support attorney. The new law, Texas Family Code § 161.005 specifies that men who were previously determined by a court of law to be the father of a child, have the right to petition the court for a DNA test.

child support attorneyPreviously, Texas courts frequently found that a man was responsible for child support payments for children from his committed relationships. This was the case, even if the woman and the man agreed that the child was probably not his biological child. Texas courts have repeatedly stated that it was not in the best interest of the child to determine who the biological father was. The courts took the stance that if the man and woman were together in a committed relationship, that the man was the child’s father, regardless of genetic testing.

Changes in the Law

The new wording of the law, states that men now have the right to request DNA testing of the child, even if they have been paying child support for years.  Under this new wording, if the man is found to not be the person who is biologically the child’s father, then the court has no choice but to stop the child support order. Even though this step legally severs the parent child relationship, the man may still have visitation and a continued emotional relationship with the child. The man must let his child support attorney know that it is his wish to remain in contact with the child.

Because Texas courts have historically been reluctant to terminate parent child relationships, many men in Texas are paying child support on children who are not biologically their own. Child support attorneys in Texas have fought in vain for their clients for years, only to see child support demanded of them for children that were the result of an extramarital affair

Importance of the September 1st Deadline

Some men have taken this responsibility because they wanted to believe that the child was theirs. Others have been forced to take this responsibility even though they never believed that the child was theirs. The diligent lobbying of a child support attorney has created this change in the law. However, these men must act soon. The window for retroactive requests is September 1, 2012. Anyone who believes that they are not the biological father of the child whom they are paying child support for, may request a DNA test to prove that they are not the child’s father. This is the case, even if they have known or suspected that they were not the child’s father 15 years ago.

However, after September 1, 2012, even if the test shows that he is not the father of the child, if the woman can show that he knew that he was not the child’s father prior to this date, he cannot be released from his child support. It goes even farther, if the woman can show that the man should have known that he was not the biological father, and he waits to file, he will not qualify under this law to cease paying child support.

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