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My son had a brief relationship with a girl while they both

lived in New Mexico. She...
My son had a brief relationship with a girl while they both lived in New Mexico. She is now pregnant and lives in Texas, and will deliver the baby in Texas. She is avoiding us and won't give us her address or discuss the possibility that this child was fathered by my son. We want to have a paternity test done when the baby is born, which will be in about a month. What do we need to do at this point to protect his rights as the potential father? Where do we file paperwork, Texas, or both New Mexico and Texas?

We know her parents home address in NM and we know what city she is living in, and that she is living with her sister. We also know her sister's employer, but that's all, we cannot get an address of where they live.
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8/23/2013
ScottyMacEsq
ScottyMacEsq, Lawyer
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 17,250
Experience: Licensed Texas General Practice Attorney
Verified

ScottyMacEsq :

Thank you for using JustAnswer. I am researching your issue and will respond shortly.

ScottyMacEsq :

I'm sorry to hear about your situation. Any legal action will need to be filed in Texas (where the baby is to be delivered). Even though she cannot be presently found, because you know the city (and thus county) where she resides, you can still sue for a paternity action in that county. After filing that paternity petition, you can seek subpoenas for the sister, to be delivered through the employer.

ScottyMacEsq :

In short, as part of a lawsuit (a paternity action is a lawsuit), the court can authorize service of process through alternative means if there's good reason to believe that the defendant (the mother) is present in the jurisdictional boundaries of the county.

ScottyMacEsq :

And it can issue subpoenas to find out more information about that.

ScottyMacEsq :

But it would need to be in the county where the mother (and the baby) will be residing at the time of the baby's birth.

ScottyMacEsq :

That being said, you need to contact an attorney in that county that deals with paternity cases. Go to www.lawyers.com or www.legalmatch.com to find an attorney in the area. You should be able to find one that will give you a free initial consultation and better advise you of your rights, any problems with your case, likelihood of success, how courts are treating cases such as yours in the area, and what you should do next.

Customer:

Is there anything we should do now before the baby is born? I understand from the Texas Attorney General's website that there is some form one can file to be kept informed of any court proceedings (or something to that effect)

ScottyMacEsq :

That would be the paternity registry. You can find the forms here: http://www.dshs.state.tx.us/vs/patreg/

Customer:

Is there a benefit to filing that form even if we don't know her social security number and address?

ScottyMacEsq :

Yes. Basically if someone else tries to adopt the child, or there's some effort to terminate his rights, it will show that he would make a claim and oppose that.

ScottyMacEsq :

Include what you can, and what's unknown indicate it as unknown.

Customer:

The AG website encourages people to come into their office. We will be in Lubbock (where she is residing and where the baby will be born), is there an office there we can visit?

ScottyMacEsq :

Here's a list of the field offices: https://www.oag.state.tx.us/cs/fieldoffices.php. It's from the child support part of the website, but that would likely be the place that you would file this form if you were to do so in person.

ScottyMacEsq :

Hope that clears things up a bit. If you have any other questions, please let me know. If not, and you have not yet, please rate my answer AND press the "submit" button, if applicable. Please note that I don't get any credit for my answer unless and until you rate it a 3, 4, 5 (good or better). Thank you, XXXXX XXXXX luck to you!

Customer:

One other question, is there anything we need to file with New Mexico since the child was conceived there, my son lives there, and the only solid address we have for her is her parent's which is in NM?

ScottyMacEsq :

No. It's the location of the baby that matters in these types of filings. Only if the child could not be found (or the mother in the situation of an unborn child, as is the case here) would NM be a place to file such an action, and only until it could be ascertained where the mother / child is located.

Customer:

Ok, thank you!

ScottyMacEsq :

My pleasure.If you have any other questions, please let me know. If not, and you have not yet, please rate my answer AND press the "submit" button, if applicable. Please note that I don't get any credit for my answer unless and until you rate it a 3, 4, 5 (good or better). Thank you, XXXXX XXXXX good luck to you!

ScottyMacEsq
ScottyMacEsq, Lawyer
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 17,250
Experience: Licensed Texas General Practice Attorney
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Category: Family Law
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