At our law firm, we take paternity cases more seriously than most other cases because they involve high stakes for the alleged parent and the child. The issue of paternity, especially in parents that not married to each other can have devastating consequences on the financial situation of the parties and create a very unstable environment for a child. Parents play an essential role in the lives of children.
If you are the father of a child, you must establish the paternity of the child in a court. A parent has the right to have custody of or access to a child. If you and the other parent are unmarried, separated, or divorced, a paternity case must be carefully evaluated and resolved by an experienced attorney. A parent must protect these rights to a child. Until a Texas court establishes the paternity, you will be unable to get a court order for custody or visitation of your child.
How do I Establish the Paternity of My Child?
Under Texas law, Paternity can be established in several ways. The first is for the father to sign his name on the child’s birth certificate at the hospital when the child is born. If you are a child’s birth father, but you did not sign your name on the birth certificate when the child is born, you can file a notice of intent to claim paternity with the Texas Department of State Health Services so that your name is added to the registry.
If the mother denies your request to claim paternity, you may have to go to court to prove that you are the child’s biological father. The child’s best interest will always be the fundamental issue the court must address in a paternity case. Once and until a father is decided as the biological parent by a Texas court, you will become the child’s legal parent with all the rights, obligations, and duties of a parent.
How does the court establish paternity?
In Texas, there are 3 typical ways for a father to establish paternity of a child:
- By Presumption
- By Voluntary Acknowledgement of Paternity (AOP)
- By Court Order.
Why should I establish paternity?
As a Dallas paternity attorney, this is a fundamental question I hear from many fathers. The main reason for establishing the paternity of the child is to legally acquire as a father’s rights to your child including possession, custody, and support.
A child will need financial support and most importantly the parental guidance of not only one parent but both. A child is also entitled to other government benefits such as social security, and insurance.
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