WE ARE WORKING!
As the situation with COVID-19 continues to develop and evolve, the safety, health and well-being of our clients and our team is extremely important to us. We are watching for the guidance of the Centers for Disease Control and international medical experts to learn how we can best manage our facility and our clients.
We would like to reassure you that The Law Office of Lisa A. Vance, P.C. will continue to be available to provide services to all of our clients.
Our lawyers and paralegals are working in the office and electronically, although most of us are working from home. Below is a list of FAQs regarding our response and commitment to you during COVID-19.
Can I even have a consultation with my lawyer remotely?
Yes, The Office of Lisa A. Vance, P.C. has a comprehensive remote working capability and all of our lawyers and paralegals are equipped to work securely from home.
Will my lawyer be available to answer questions and work on my case?
Yes, your legal matters will continue to receive our attention. You can email, call, or videoconference with your lawyer during this time.
We also have multiple videoconferencing options; please contact your attorney for the platform that works best for you
How are court hearings and appointments affected?
Court in Bexar County are now conducted by Zoom Please see our blog article Court via Zoom: It’s Actually, Really Court (and Here’s How It Works)
Can I consult with a lawyer about a new family law or divorce matter?
Yes, we have office staff working in house and remotely to ensure continuity in our business. For information about a family law or divorce matter, please call our office or complete the Request a Consultation Form.
Your family law matters remain our top concern and we are not going to permit this pandemic to take priority over your needs. We will remain confident, alert and prepared.
We wish you and your family well as we work through this difficult situation together.
With warm regards,
Lisa A Vance
Answering questions of paternity under Texas law
There is no disputing the fact that issues of child paternity can be quite important, particularly when parental rights or child support are involved. Indeed, regardless of whether a potential father is seeking visitation rights or a mother is attempting to obtain additional financial support, the need to resolve questions of paternity may be pivotal. In Texas, paternity is typically established three different ways: By presumption, by acknowledgment or by adjudication (court order).
The presumption of paternity in Texas
The Texas Family Code outlines the specific situations in which the presumption of paternity may exist. For instance, a man may be presumed to be a child’s father if:
- He and the child’s mother are married, and the child is born during the marriage
- He and the child’s mother were married, and the child is born within 300 days of their divorce
- He marries the child’s mother after the child’s birth and voluntarily asserts paternity, although his assertion typically needs to be properly recorded, such as being named as the father on the child’s birth certificate or in a record filed with the bureau of vital statistics
- He continuously resides in the same household as the child during the first two years of the child’s life, and he represents to others that the child is his
It is important to note, however, that just because a man is presumed to be child’s father it does not guarantee he is the child’s biological parent. In fact, the presumption of paternity can be rebutted through adjudication and genetic testing, or if the presumed father files a denial of paternity in combination with an acknowledgment of paternity by another person.
Even so, once paternity has been established by presumption, it typically cannot be challenged by adjudication after the child reaches the age of four. Although, this time limitation may be ignored if the presumed father and the child’s mother did not have sexual relations or live together when the child was conceived or if the presumed father only believes he is the child’s father as a result of misrepresentations.
Other ways of establishing paternity in Texas
If a child’s parents are unwed, the presumptions of paternity will often not apply. In these situations, a father and mother can establish paternity by signing a document of voluntarily acknowledgement. However, once a father signs an acknowledgment of paternity, he can typically only dispute paternity on the basis of duress, fraud or material mistake of fact – although he does have an initial 60-day period in which he can seek a rescission after executing the acknowledgment.
If the parents refuse to acknowledge paternity, a court may be asked to step in and adjudicate the matter. Often times, this process will involve the use of genetic testing. If the child in question does not already have a presumed, acknowledged or adjudicated father, there is generally no time limit for seeking the establishment of paternity through adjudication. However, if paternity has been already ascertained in some way, a time limitation may exist.
As this article illustrates, legal issues related to paternity can often be complicated in Texas. Consequently, if you are currently embroiled in a paternity suit, it is advisable to consult with a knowledgeable family law attorney.