Laura Dale & Associates, P.C.
Se Habla Español Nous Parlons Français
Call 713-574-7952 or 888-572-6059

How are parental relationships legally established?

The Texas courts allow for numerous ways for a parent-child relationship to be established. Establishing legal parent-child status can make a difference during divorce and family law disputes. If one parent has such a status and the other does not, for example, the outcome of custody cases can be very different than expected.

Mother-child legal relationships are established in one of three ways. The relationship is automatically established when a mother gives birth. Alternatively, a court can adjudicate such a relationship, legally naming the woman as the mother. Finally, a legal adoption establishes the relationship.

Since a father can't give birth, the methods of establishing the relationship are a bit different. Adjudication and adoption are both valid methods of establishing the relationship. If a man consents to an assisted reproduction and his wife becomes pregnant and births a child, then the relationship is generally established as well.

If a man legally acknowledges a child as his under Texas law, then a father-child relationship is established. This relationship is considered ongoing unless the man rescinds his acknowledgement or another party effectively proves that the man is the not the child's father.

Finally, a number of circumstances create presumption that a man is a child's father. For example, if a man is married to a woman and a child is born during that marriage, then the man is usually presumed to be the child's father. If the man marries a woman after the birth of the child and voluntarily asserts that he is the father of the child, then the relationship is also created.

The ins-and-outs of parent-child relationships can become a bit complex, which is why it can be helpful to approach family law issues with professional assistance. Asserting paternity, challenging paternity or fighting for custody even though paternity is being challenged are just some ways an attorney can help in such matters.

Source: Texas Family Code, "The parent-child relationship and the suit affecting the parent-child relationship," accessed Jan. 01, 2016

No Comments

Leave a comment
Comment Information

Client Testimonials

  1. Laura Dale the best Family Law attorney I have ever met... Posted by John...Listens, takes your calls, tells you the truth (even when it may not be what you want to hear)... Read More

  2. The Best...Posted by a Child Custody client... Laura Dale handled my international child custody and divorce matter. I am an attorney in Houston and was referred to her... Read More

  3. A Meticulous, Knowledgeable, Attorney with Heart...Posted by a Child Custody client... Laura was not the first attorney that my husband and I interviewed for an extremely complex... Read More

  4. Top Notch, Hands Down - The Best...Posted by Tammi, a Child Custody client... Laura Dale has been absolutely the best attorney I could have found for my difficult child custody... Read More

Contact Our Experienced Team Today | Se habla español | Nous parlons français

Due to the experience our lawyers have in many specialized areas, you can rely on us to put together the right team to handle your case, even if it centers on complex issues such as international family law, business valuation or bankruptcy. Contact us today to make an appointment to discuss your needs with a knowledgeable lawyer.

Login to Client Portal

Laura Dale & Associates, P.C.
1800 Saint James Place
Suite 620
Houston, TX 77056

Toll Free: 888-572-6059
Phone: 713-574-7952
Fax: 713-600-1718
Houston Law Office Map