Establishing Paternity in Texas
Many fathers wish to establish paternity for any number of reasons. It doesn’t always mean they suspect the child’s mother of cheating, but in Texas, men who are not legally married to the mother but wish to be recognized as the legal father must have paternity established. A DNA test is one way to accomplish that.
Note: fathers can sign a legal document, Acknowledgment of Paternity in Texas that serves the same purpose. For some fathers, especially if the relationship is volatile, they may wish to seek DNA testing to further protect their relationship with their children. When a baby is born to married couples, the legalities of fatherhood are automatic. The husband is called the presumed father and has the same legal rights as the mother.
There are a number of reasons unmarried Texas fathers would seek DNA testing. It allows their name to go on the birth certificate, it provides a legal bond that protects the relationship, and it also ensures their rights are protected regarding which schools the child(ren) attend, the type of medical attention they receive, etc. Simply, it legally allows them to be involved.
Keep in mind establishing paternity is good for the mother as well. It ensures she has a partner that shares the responsibility, happiness and well-being of their child. It also puts into place child support guidelines and it can mean her child(ren) receive any medical benefits, consideration in inheritances and it can pave the way for securing Social Security should the father pass away.
All of this is important, but at the core of paternity establishment is a child who will benefit greatly. She will have not only her father, but her father’s family. It will provide security, a sense of identity and a sense of belonging, which is what every human being needs. She knows both Mom and Dad are going to bat for her throughout her life.
When parents can put aside their differences, their children benefit from that decision. It’s the one thing family lawyers wish their clients knew. Kids simply do better when both parents are involved. That includes their school work, emotional stability, their confidence is more likely to soar – the benefits are endless.
If, however, you need to establish paternity through DNA testing, a court order is how it’s done. Your attorney will ensure a case is open and will file a petition with the court. In most instances, the DNA testing costs are covered by the state. If paternity is established, child support must then be established through what’s known as the Child Support Review Process.
The sooner you establish paternity in Texas, the sooner you can move forward with a healthy relationship with your children. It also means you have a foundation to stand on should you seek custody. In Texas, around 10 percent of mothers do not have custody of their children – and that number’s increasing. Fathers are seeking – and winning – custody cases.
Regardless, it’s important to establish paternity. Our children need that. To learn more about your paternal rights in Texas, contact the Law Office of Jon R. Boyd. online.