Affirming Your Legal Rights As A Parent Through The Texas Paternity Process
When a couple is unmarried and separated, a Parentage suit should be filed to establish paternity and establish the legal rights of both parents to the child. The paternity of the father needs to be established for the father to have enforceable legal rights to his child. The issues of child custody, visitation and child support need to be determined.
At The Law Office of Cicily Simms, we understand that the path to establishing paternity can be complex. Whether you are seeking to establish your rights as a father or to enforce the father of your child’s obligation to help support your child, or to establish the custody and possession period of each parent to the child, we have the knowledge and experience to advocate on your behalf and guide you through the legal process.
How Is Paternity Established?
When a couple is married and expecting a child, the husband is presumed to be the father. In Texas, when the parents of a child are not married, the parentage of the child must be determined. This is known as “Parentage” or paternity. There are three main ways to establish paternity:
- The parents may complete an Acknowledgement of Paternity (AOP) form as early as at the hospital after the child’s birth to voluntarily establish legal paternity.
- Both parents and a judge may sign an agreed-upon paternity order, stating the father’s identity and legal rights regarding custody, visitation, child support and medical support.
- If paternity is in question, the alleged father can undergo a court-ordered paternity test to determine the biological father.
In cases where paternity is contested in any way, an experienced lawyer can step in to help.
In any case where the parents are separated, the issues of conservatorship (custody) of the child, the possession periods of each parent with the child, and child support need to be addressed.
Benefits Of Establishing Paternity
All parties involved may benefit from a child’s father being legally recognized:
- The child will know who their father is and grow up with a relationship with both parents.
- The father will have a legal connection to his child and be able to ask for custody, visitation rights or child support.
- The mother will be able to ask the court to determine the father’s legal rights and responsibilities.
While establishing paternity is often a positive step for all, it can also be contested and combative. At our firm, we understand the sensitive nature of paternity cases and how they could impact your child’s future. While we strive to resolve disputes outside of court, if litigation is necessary, we are prepared to advocate for you in court to seek a positive outcome.
Speak With A Skilled Attorney
We invite you to contact an experienced attorney at our firm if you are seeking to establish paternity. We offer reduced-fee initial consultations and are located in downtown Austin near the courthouse, with a comfortable environment and ample parking.
Call us at 512-477-6462 or reach out to us online.