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Why Establishing Paternity Is Critical to Your Family

In Texas, if a mother has a child while married, it is presumed that her spouse is the father of the child. If the couple is unmarried, no father is presumed. In this case, the parents need to establish paternity.

This issue often comes up when a mother seeks child support from a biological father, and the pair is not married. You must establish paternity before a court will hear your child support claim.

Two Ways to Establish Paternity

There are two options for establishing paternity. If the man wants to be considered the father, the parents can file an acknowledgment of paternity. The signatures of both parents are required. Paternity will be established once the form is filed with the Texas Vital Statistics Unit.

The second way to establish paternity is used if the biological father does not agree to paternity. Under this method, the mother must petition the court to name a man the father. It also may be the case that the state petitions the court to determine paternity if the child receives public assistance.

If the man does not respond, the court may enter a default judgment naming him the father. If the father contests the petition, the court will order a DNA test and rule in accordance with the results.

Once paternity is determined the father’s name will be added to the birth certificate.

Why Is Establishing Paternity Important

There are benefits to the child, mother, and father once paternity has been established.

For the child:

  • The child will be aware of family histories and medical problems
  • The child could gain access to benefits and sources of support like health insurance, life insurance, inheritance, veteran’s benefits and Social Security benefits

For the mother:

  • Parenting responsibilities are shared
  • She can seek child support with paternity established
  • For the father:
  • He can seek custody or visitation
  • He will be able to decide important medical decisions

Contact a Richmond, TX Paternity Attorney Today

Paternity is an important step in making sure that your family is safeguarded and stable. Call Richmond, TX paternity attorney Frank J. Vendt, Jr. at The Vendt Law Firm, P.L.L.C. at (832) 263-6770 to learn more about your options with paternity issues.