Establishing paternity is one of the most important decisions parents who are not married can make. Even as the emotional bonds between a child and his father grow and deepen, the legal relationship is very important as well – and for a number of reasons. In Texas, paternity establishment puts into place a number of protections for the child and his future. The legal relationship can cement a number of dynamics, including:
- Child Support
- Social Security
- Veteran Survivor Benefits
- Health Insurance
It’s also important if the father is to be added to the birth certificate. Perhaps most importantly, as the child grows, there aren’t any lingering psychological dynamics as he wonders why he doesn’t have Dad’s last name or why his birth certificate is absent a father’s name.
Time is a big factor, especially if there’s a dispute or if paternity needs to be established. Legal paternity is what guarantees a father’s parental rights, even if he and the mother separate or there are threats to sever the relationship between the father and child.
By establishing paternity, you’re also putting into place the mechanisms should you ever seek custody of your child. Without legal acknowledgment of paternity, you may find yourself struggling to even be heard, especially if there are others also seeking custody, such as the child’s maternal grandparents.
These cases aren’t always easy, but by understanding the risks of not establishing paternity and remaining proactive in your efforts, you can help put into place that foundation necessary for building a strong relationship with your child.
We invite you to contact Texas family law attorney Jon R. Boyd to learn more about the legalities, rights and responsibilities of establishing paternity. We can help guide you to the solution that can only benefit you and your child today and in the future.