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The importance of establishing paternity

At the Law Office of Brian Turner, we believe that fathers and their children deserve to have rights to each other. The Office of the Texas Attorney General reminds parents, however, that while children born in Texas to married couples have established legal rights with their fathers, children born to unmarried couples do not. In other words, your child has no legal father if you are not married to his or her mother at the time of birth. If you establish paternity, you can cure this situation.

In Texas, a child born to married parents is presumed to have two legal parents; i.e., the husband and wife. In an unmarried situation, you can establish paternity by one of the following methods:

  1. Voluntary paternity
  2. Agreed paternity
  3. Court-ordered paternity

In a voluntary paternity, you and the child’s mother sign a legal document called an Acknowledgment of Paternity any time before or after your child is born. In an agreed paternity, you and the mother sign a document stating that you both agree that you are the father and also agree on the custody, visitation, child support and medical support of the child. A judge then signs this agreement, making it a court order. In cases where you and the mother disagree that you are the father, a court can resolve the issue by means of court-ordered paternity.

Once you establish paternity, your name can appear on your child’s birth certificate, giving him or her the security of fully knowing his or her own identity, as well as the joy of having a relationship not only with you, but also with your side of the family. In addition, you can have access to your child’s school and medical records and can make your health insurance, Social Security benefits and veterans benefits available to him or her. For more information on this topic, please visit our page on paternity.

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Law Office of Brian Turner
308 N. Washington Ave.
Bryan, TX 77803

Phone: 979-583-9200
Fax: 979-314-9533
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