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Why establishing paternity is crucial for child custody

On Behalf of | May 30, 2024 | Child Custody

People often have presumptions when it comes to child custody. The courts traditionally lean toward granting custody to mothers, leaving fathers feeling overlooked and undervalued in the process. However, society continues to evolve, recognizing and appreciating the role of fathers in parenting.

If you are an unmarried father in Texas, seeking custody of your child can be challenging, but it is possible. The first step toward securing this right is establishing your paternity.

What is paternity?

Paternity is the legal recognition of a father-child relationship. In Texas, when a child is born to unmarried parents, the father does not automatically have legal rights to the child. Establishing paternity is the first step toward securing your parental rights, including the right to seek custody and make decisions about your child’s upbringing

How to establish paternity in Texas

There are three ways to establish paternity in Texas:

  • Acknowledgment of Paternity (AOP): Both parents can sign an AOP form voluntarily.
  • Marriage: When biological parents marry, the biological father is presumed to be the legal father.
  • Court order: Unmarried parents can file a court case to establish paternity. The court may order genetic testing to confirm it.

Why professional guidance is critical

While the process may seem straightforward, complications can still arise. An experienced family law attorney can provide valuable guidance and support, ensuring the protection of your rights as a father. Every child custody case is unique, and they can help represent your interests and work toward a resolution that benefits both you and your child.

The ultimate goal of pursuing child custody is to ensure the best possible future for your child. As an unmarried father, establishing paternity is a critical step in this journey. It is not just about winning a legal battle but also about securing your rights and responsibilities as a father, providing the love, care, and guidance your child deserves. With the right legal support, you can increase your chances of having a favorable outcome. Remember, you are not just fighting for custody; you are fighting for the chance to be a significant part of your child’s life.