Houston SAPCR / Parentage Lawyer in Fort Bend County and Harris County, Texas
SUITS AFFECTING THE PARENT CHILD RELATIONSHIP (SAPCR) AND ADJUDICATING PATERNITYWhen the parents of a child are not married, the parent-child relationship must be established by the court. Suits affecting the parent child relationship create visitation schedules, order child support and determine the rights and duties of each parent. Suits Affecting the Parent Child Relationship are also frequently used to establish paternity.
HOW DO I ESTABLISH PATERNITY?Paternity can be established if the father signs an acknowledgment of paternity, is listed on the birth certificate and takes a DNA. It is wise to hire a paternity attorney to advise on the process. Courts require all or a combination of those steps to be taken prior to adjudicating a father and establishing a parent child relationship. If the father refuses to acknowledge his child, the Court will order genetic testing and if the DNA test confirms paternity, he will be adjudicated the father, with all of the rights and duties of a father.
WHY IS A SUIT AFFECTING THE PARENT CHILD RELATIONSHIP (SAPCR) NECESSARY?A suit affecting the parent child relationship creates the parent-child relationship. Without a court order in place, each parent has equal rights to the child. Either parent could then move away with the child or attempt to prevent the other parent from seeing the child. As a father, if you have not executed the proper documents at the hospital you could be denied access to your child until you are adjudicated the father. Even if the parents are getting along, with the help of paternity lawyers, it is important to establish a legal relationship between the parties.
IS CHILD SUPPORT REQUIRED IN A SUIT AFFECTING THE PARENT CHILD RELATIONSHIP?Most courts require child support, even if the parents agree otherwise, unless the parents are living together. Child support is intended to benefit the child and is presumed to be in the child’s best interest so courts are reluctant to waive child support? If you truly believe your case is exceptional, you may speak with Jason Lawrence, experienced paternity lawyer at Lawrence Law Firm to determine if child support may not be needed.
MY CHILD IS STILL AN INFANT, WHAT KIND OF VISITATION WILL I RECEIVE?There is no standard possession order for children under the age of three. The court will look at the age and needs of each individual child in determining visitation. Most courts believe that frequent, short periods of contact are in the best interest of the child. Some courts will order "phased in" periods of possession until the child turns three. Under phased in possession the parent will spend increasingly longer periods of time with the child building up to the standard possession order which will begin at age three.
Whatever situation you find yourself in, hiring Jason, an experienced paternity attorney, can ensure that you follow the correct legal process.