Brandon Young Bell

Contact Brandon Young Bell for a Consultation
Phone: (972) 668-1462
For Inquires Call To Schedule an Appointment

Address: 38 1st Street NW, Paris, Texas 75460


While the existence of a biological relationship between a mother and her child is fairly obvious, it is not always so obvious between a father and his child. The legal existence of the parent-child relationship must be established between a father and child. This relationship establishes important rights and duties of the parent. The relationship has traditionally been determined when two married individuals bear children during the marriage. If a man's wife gives birth to a child, a presumption exists that he is the father and therefore the legal parent-child relationship is created. The presumption also exists if a child is born within 300 days after a marriage is terminated by death, divorce, or annulment or if a man resided with the child and held himself out as the father during the first two years of the child's life. The presumption of paternity can only be challenged by genetic testing or by a written denial of paternity by the presumed father along with the acknowledgment by another man.

A paternity suit is a suit to create the legal parent-child relationship between a father and his child. This suit may be brought by the child, the child's mother, a relative of the child's mother if the mother is deceased, the alleged father, or an authorized government entity. These suits are often brought for the purpose of obtaining an order for child support. The Office of the Attorney General initiates a great number of paternity suits as a basis to recover aid given to single mothers through government assistance programs. However, the paternity suit may be filed by an alleged father wishing to establish a relationship with his child.

During a paternity suit, a court may order genetic testing. If a man refuses to submit to genetic testing as ordered by a court, the court may enter a default order adjudicating the man to be the father.

The effect of a decree designating a man as a child's father is that the order establishes a parent-child relationship for all purposes. The newly adjudicated father will have all of the rights and duties of any parent unless otherwise ordered by the Court.

Brandon Young Bell

Areas of Practice
  • Family Law
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