Child Custody Attorneys Helping Parents in Dallas, Rockwall and Collin County With Paternity Issues
Establishing paternity refers to the process of legally determining the biological father of a child. When paternity is established, the father assumes legal rights and responsibilities towards the child, including the right to seek custody or visitation and the obligation to provide financial support. If you are considering establishing paternity, here is what you need to know.
Why Establish Paternity?
Establishing paternity can benefit both the father and the child in several ways, including:
- Legal rights and responsibilities: When paternity is established, the father gains legal rights to seek custody or visitation, and is also obligated to provide financial support for the child.
- Medical history: Knowing the biological father’s medical history can be important for the child’s health.
- Emotional benefits: Establishing paternity can provide the child with a sense of identity and belonging, and can also provide emotional benefits to the father and extended family members.
How to Establish Paternity in Texas
In Texas, there are several ways to establish paternity:
- Voluntary Acknowledgment of Paternity: This is a document signed by both the mother and the father, usually at the hospital when the child is born. This document establishes the father’s legal relationship with the child.
- Court Order: If the father disputes paternity or if the mother does not agree to sign the Voluntary Acknowledgment of Paternity, a court order may be necessary. This usually involves genetic testing to determine paternity.
- Administrative Order: In some cases, the Office of the Attorney General may establish paternity through an administrative order.
What to Consider Before Establishing Paternity
Before establishing paternity, there are a few things to consider:
- Legal rights and responsibilities: Establishing paternity means that the father will have legal rights and responsibilities towards the child, including financial support.
- Relationship with the mother: Establishing paternity may affect the relationship between the mother and the father, especially if the relationship is contentious.
- Genetic testing: If genetic testing is necessary, it can be an invasive and emotional process.
If you are considering establishing paternity of a child it is important to understand the process and what you can expect. A family law attorney at The Blacknall Firm, can help you navigate this process and advocate for the best interests of your child. Contact us to learn more about establishing paternity and how we can help.