Legal Question in Family Law in Texas

paternal rights

My ex-girlfriend got pregnant last year while she and i were together, we went separate ways, my mom kept in touch with her til the baby was born on march 2,2002. She gave the baby the name of a guy living with her and refuses to give us the time of day. I would like a paternal test. If he is my child i do have rights, right? I do not know where to start or can i even do this?

Asked on 3/22/02, 11:28 am

2 Answers from Attorneys

Fran Brochstein Attorney & Mediator

Re: paternal rights

In order to establish paternity rights, you need to file a lawsuit and have her served. In Harris County the filing fee is approximately $170. Serving the woman would be approximately $50.

You then ask (at a hearing) for the court to order paternity tests. The cost for paternity tests vary depending on the facility. I estimate the cost to be $400-up -- the cost is usually split between the parents with each paying half.

A paternity test is actually quite simple. It is merely a mouth swab. No blood involved.

Please be advised that the results will be in the 99% -- there is never a test result of 100%!

If you are "excluded" as the father, then the case is closed.

If you the father, then child support and visitation would then be established by the court. If you are the father and pay child support, you will get the opportunity to have the child use your last name, especially since the baby is so small there would be no trama to the child in changing his/her name. His/her birth certificate would also be changed showing you as the father.

The cost to handle a case like this really depends on how much the mother is willing to cooperate.

I recommend that you do it now while the child is small so that you can get to know your child. Additionally, you know where the mother is -- if you wait to do this she might move and it will cost more to try to locate her.

Best of luck!

If you live in the Houston area, please feel free to give me a call at 713-847-6000. Be sure to let me know that you found me on

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Answered on 3/22/02, 5:12 pm
Gerald R. Yoakum The Practice of Gerald R. Yoakum, P.C. A Full Service Law Firm

Re: paternal rights

It is important you act quick. The cost to file this case is about 240.00 including service. Call us if you need help. If the child is yours, you will have rights.

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Answered on 3/26/02, 9:14 pm

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