The only difference between a paternity action and a custody determination in a divorce case is to make sure who the father is and have a judicial determination of parentage. After it is clear who the father is, whether by DNA test or admission by the father, then the custody determination follows the same path as in the Custody/Conservatorship, Possession, and Child Support sections.

If either parent has doubts about paternity, the court will order a DNA test. The court cannot order a DNA test before the child is born, although the paternity suit can be brought and certain other orders can be made before the child's birth.

If you are the parent of an unborn child and want to discuss your rights and options, we recommend that you come in to see us before the child is born in case action needs to be taken before the child's birth to protect you.

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