What is paternity? Paternity means the “legal” father of a child.
The topic of paternity generally comes up where two parents are not married to each other. Therefore, the alleged father of the child must establish paternity in order for him to be viewed as the legal father of the child in a court. Sometimes, parents assume that since they are the biological father, they have rights to the child. In a suit affecting parent-child relationship (SAPCR), establish paternity.
How to establish paternity in Texas.
A mother has legal rights to her child because she birth the child. There is no question as to her maternal status. There are few exceptions such as the use of Assistant Reproductive Technology. In Dad’s case, he must show that he is the biological father of the child.
Here are the ways to establish paternity in Texas.
- Marriage. The law presumes that husband is the biological father of a child born during marriage.
- Acknowledge of paternity (AOP). For unmarried parents (or a child born to another man during marriage), they can sign a legal form known as AOP. You can locate an AOP certified entity near you or contact our office. Also, Husband will need to sign a Denial of Paternity; this document must be signed by Mother and her spouse, the presumed Father.
- Court. The unmarried parents can get a court order naming the legal father of a child. How? File a petition in court.
What are the benefits of establishing paternity in Texas?
- It establishes your rights as a parent (father).
- It gives your child an emotional connection to his father (visitation and custody issues).
- Your child will have legal (not just physical) connection to his father.
- Texas law requires the establishment of paternity before ordering child support or medical support.
- Also, it protects the right of your child when his/her father dies, including inheritance.
- It protects the child from possible parental alienation or parental kidnapping.
- It protects the child’s rights to benefits if the father dies, such as death benefits or possible inheritance.
- A child knows who his/her father is (identity).
- Lastly, the child can have access to the father’s medical history and family history.
There are other psychological benefits to establishing paternity. If you have questions about paternity or you would like to establish paternity, call our office, (832) 529-1255 or send us an email, firstname.lastname@example.org.