Susanne Bonilla, Attorney at Law

Corpus Christi Paternity Lawyer

In Texas, a child born to an unmarried couple has no legal father. The biological father in that situation must complete an Acknowledgement of Paternity so that he may be recognized as the legal father. The Law Office of Susanne Bonilla Harrold, P.C. helps men and women through the process of establishing paternity. Depending on your situation, Ms. Bonilla Harrold can direct you to the procedures that must be followed and properly prepare and file the necessary paperwork and court documents.

Explaining Paternity Matters in Corpus Christi

The Uniform Parentage Act explains the approved legal process regarding paternity and maternity (parentage). The formation of a parent-child relationship is not limited to biological evidence. A person’s parental relationship can also be established by the level of responsibility an adult takes in that child’s life or by presumption.

Presumption means that a person is believed to be the father. Some examples of presumption of paternity for a man include:

  • The child is born during his marriage to the biological mother
  • He is married to the mother and the child is born before the 301st day after the marriage is terminated
  • He is voluntarily named as a father on the child’s birth certificate
  • He lived in the same household with the child during the first two years of the child’s life and claimed fatherhood

By contrast, a man may be the biological father and choose to give up rights. As a family law attorney, Ms. Bonilla Harrold has encountered numerous scenarios and is prepared to set you and your family on the right track to getting your family structure in order to help provide the best possible environment for your child.

Guiding Mothers in the Paternity Process

If there is no man legally recognized as the father of your child, you may wish to establish a father. If you are not sure who the father may be, there are simple DNA tests, such as the cheek swab test, to determine a biological connection. Some benefits to establishing paternity include:

  • Collecting child support to benefit your child’s financial needs
  • Receiving health insurance or other benefits from the father for the child
  • Receiving government benefits through connection to the father
  • Understanding the medical history of the father to guide medical treatment
  • Giving the child a sense of belonging and connection to familial history

Helping Fathers Understand Paternity and Legal Rights

As a father, there are several reasons why it is in your best interest to establish paternity. Ms. Bonilla Harrold can help you register in Texas as a putative (legal) father and educate you on the benefits and rights associated with paternity. When you are identified as the legal father of a child, you have:

  • The ability to provide monetary support that is legally recognized
  • The ability to list your child as a valid dependent for tax or health benefit reasons
  • The right to visitation or possession of your child
  • The right to be notified and have a say in the adoption of your child

In some cases, you may decide that terminating your parental rights will best serve the interests of your child. Ms. Bonilla Harrold can help you put the pieces together and explain all available options to help you arrive at the best possible decision.

If you need assistance with establishing or terminating paternity, contact the Law Office of Susanne Bonilla Harrold, P.C., today. From her office in the Bonilla Plaza, Ms. Bonilla Harrold represents clients in the Corpus Christi metropolitan area including San Patricio, Aransas, Nueces, Kleberg, Jim Wells counties and beyond. Call 361-947-7002 today to schedule your free initial consultation.


College of the State Bar of Texas

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Bonilla Plaza, 2727 Morgan Ave., 1st Floor, Corpus Christi, TX 78405
Call us today Call Now for a Free Initial Consultation: (361) 947-7002

The Law Office of Susanne Bonilla Harrold, P.C., provides family law legal services to the Corpus Christi metropolitan area including Port Aransas, Victoria, McAllen, Pharr, Aransas Pass, Odem, CalAllen, George West, Mathis, Rockport, Portland, Ingleside, San Patricio County, Aransas County, Nueces County, Kleberg County, and Jim Wells County.

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