Family law disputes in Texas can be complicated in myriad ways. People with major assets can find this challenging, but it can impact anyone. One of the most emotionally worrisome aspects is if children are involved. Fathers are frequently concerned about custody issues and visitation rights. In Texas, custody is referred to as conservatorship, and visitation is referred to as possession. A fundamental part of fathers’ rights is establishing paternity. In these difficult cases, it is important to be aware of the law and what role it plays in the outcome.
Why is it important to establish paternity?
Paternity is legally significant when addressing fathers’ rights. When a man is legally determined to be a child’s father, he will be expected to provide support and be responsible for the child. He will be granted the opportunity to seek custody and have visitation. This is also important for an unmarried couple and a mother who wants to place the child up for adoption. Once paternity is established, the father can exert his rights and refuse to allow the adoption to move forward.
After paternity is established, the following can occur:
- The father’s name can be on the birth certificate.
- There will be a legal link between father and child.
- The father has the legal ability to care for the child.
- He has the right to see all personal records in the child’s life including medical and school.
- The father can request custody and visitation.
Being legally protected is key in a fathers’ rights case
Fathers who want to play an active part in a child’s life and influence his or her upbringing should know what is necessary to ensure they are protected. Establishing paternity is a foundational factor in a fathers’ rights case. Although it is not a guarantee of a positive outcome, it is a useful first step. With this or any other circumstance related to Texas family law, it may be beneficial to have experienced legal help from the start.