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Establishing Paternity in Texas

 Posted on May 30, 2024 in Family Law

TX family lawyerYou might think that conceiving a child makes you a parent. For women, that happens to be true. When a woman goes to a hospital and delivers a baby, she is officially considered the baby’s mother for all intents and purposes, without needing to prove it. If she is married at that time, her husband is automatically considered the father, again, without the need for proof. What happens when the man and woman who have conceived a baby are not married? This article will examine how an unmarried man can become legally recognized as a baby’s father and the reasons why he might want to do so. If you are a single man expecting to become a father soon, speak with an experienced Collin County, TX paternity lawyer to understand how and why you might consider establishing paternity.

How is Paternity Decided in Texas

If you are married to the woman you conceived a child with, the state of Texas will automatically recognize you as the child’s father. You will not need to submit to any test or offer proof of any kind. If you are not married, you will need to go through a process to be legally recognized as the father.

Three people are significantly impacted when paternity is established:

  • The mother: There are financial benefits to having a legally recognized father, namely, obligated child support payments. However, beyond the monetary considerations, it can be extremely helpful emotionally to know that there is another adult with legal responsibilities for the child. In an emergency, the father is someone she might be able to call on for help.
  • Your child: If necessary, once your paternity is established, your child can access personal information about the father, including medical and genetic information that could impact him. Once paternity is established, your child is also legally considered your next-of-kin, with eligibility for death benefits like insurance policies or inheritances you might leave behind. Beyond the financial aspects, it can be quite significant for the child’s mental and emotional well-being to have a father who is not rejecting him but instead declaring the relationship.
  • You: When your paternity is established, you can also be entitled to parental rights. If you care about your child and want to have a say in important decisions that can affect her life, including medical decisions, you need to be legally recognized as her father. You can also be eligible for visitation, meaning you would have the legal right to spend time with your child.

Contact a McKinney, TX Paternity Attorney

If you are expecting a baby soon but you are not married to the mother, you should speak with a Collin County, TX paternity lawyer to understand the rights and responsibilities you would face if you establish paternity. At The Ramage Law Group, our passion is advocating for fathers’ rights and protecting families’ interests. Call us at 972-562-9890 to find out how we can assist you further.

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