Why is Establishing Paternity Important?
In Texas, a child born to parents that are not married does not have a legal father. Biological fatherhood and legal fatherhood differs in the state.
Until a father becomes a legal father, the court looks at the relationship between the parent and the child differently. Child support, visitation rights, health insurance benefits, and other government benefits cannot be enforced until paternity is established.
Acknowledgement of Paternity
An acknowledgement of paternity is a legal document that makes the biological father the legal father. It is only when this document is filed with the Bureau of Vital Statistics that the father's name is placed on the birth certificate. The court is not able to require the father to pay child support and establish custody.
When a child is born at the hospital, the documents to establish paternity are available at that time. The hospital will send the documents to the Bureau of Vital Statistics and the father's name will be added to the birth certificate at no fee. The acknowledgement of paternity can also be signed before the birth and brought to the hospital, or signed any time after the birth.
An acknowledgement of paternity can be rescinded within 60 days of filing.
Denial of Paternity
A denial of paternity must be signed in instances where the mother is married to someone that is not the biological father or if the baby is born within 300 days after the divorce of a man that is not the biological father. The biological father can only become the legal father once the husband has signed a Denial of Paternity form.
If a father does not want to acknowledge paternity or the mother refuses to sign the documents with the father, a case should be opened with an attorney of the Attorney General. There is a legal recourse for parents that deny parentage that can be taken care of in the presence of a judge.
If you are facing issues with acknowledgement of paternity in Texas, the Zendeh Del Law Firm, PLLC can help you navigate your legal rights.
Give our firm a call today!