How Does Paternity Work

How do paternity cases work?

When contemplating a paternity case, all other issues about child custody, visitation, and support apply. In these cases, however, there is another factor: Who is the father? It doesn't always matter that he's on the birth certificate. If the parties were not married when the child was conceived or born, then the man will not have conservatorship or visitation rights and will not be obligated to pay any support until he is found by a Court to be the father (or in the case of a temporary hearing, until the paternity tests have found him to be the father by way of a DNA test).

Once a man is found to be the father he may:

  • be required to pay child support
  • exercise visitation with the child
  • make decisions concerning the raising of this child
  • take custody of the child


Therefore, it is important to have attorneys who can explain all the aspects of paternity and the consequences that follow.