LEGAL GUIDE
Written by attorney David Andrew Donohue | Aug 12, 2011

CHILD SUPPORT IN TEXAS NOW AFFECTED BY DNA TESTING

CHILD SUPPORT IN TEXAS NOW AFFECTED BY DNA TESTING

The law in Texas is catching up with scientific testing.

Before this year, a man found by a Court to be the father of a child, or a man who has filed a written acknowledgment of paternity, had to pay child support even if DNA testing later proved he could not be the child’s father.

The legislature in this year’s session changed the game and the presumption of paternity can be challenged.

Now under certain circumstances, if the DNA test result proves that a man is not the father of the child, the Court must terminate the obligation to pay child support.

Interestingly, the new law also allows the non-dad to ask for access to and possession of the child even though he may no longer be obligated to pay child support. The law makers apparently took into account that a close relationship between a man and a child may have developed, and it may be best for the child to allow that relationship to be continued. Recognizing that emotional damage could occur, the law also authorizes psychological counseling for the child and anyone else that a judge believes would benefit from such counseling.

As with most dramatic changes in the law, the effect upon families cannot be predicted with any certainty, but it is clear that a brave new world has been opened recognizing the incredible advancements in science and scientific testing.

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