Katy Paternity Rights Divorce Lawyer
Texas Judges are required to make decisions without gender bias, but when it comes to family law matters, women are often treated more favorably. This is especially true when there are paternity issues. Issues such as child support, custody, and spousal support could impact you for the rest of your life, so it is essential that you seek professional legal assistance from a Katy paternity lawyer who has the skills, experience, and resources necessary to handle your case.
At Skillern Firm, we are committed to protecting the rights of our clients, whether you are fighting for the paternity of your child, or you are fighting against it. Our dedicated family lawyers truly empathize with what you’re going through and we want the best resolution for your case. Whether your case requires negotiation or litigation, we are prepared to fight for your best interests so you can move forward in your life with confidence.
At Skillern Firm, our practice areas include Katy, Sugar Land, Fort Bend County, and the surrounding areas in Texas. Call us today at (936) 213-8479 to speak to one of our Katy paternity rights lawyers.
What Does “Established Paternity” Mean in Texas?
“Established paternity” in law means the established legal father. The legal father has parental rights and obligations. If the fatherhood of a child is in question, establishing paternity can be a crucial aspect of the divorce process, a child custody battle, or securing child support. The legal father and biological father can be different people. If a woman is married when she gives birth then her husband’s name will automatically be added to the birth certificate, making him the legal father.
If the woman is not married when she has a child, then paternity will need to be established. The unmarried father can do this at the hospital, or later on. Once the father’s name is on the child’s birth certificate, they become the legal father and will gain rights and responsibilities to that child.
How Do You Establish Paternity in Katy, TX?
Once fatherhood is established, it places rights and obligations on the father. They may have custody, decision-making rights and may be responsible, financially, for the child’s upbringing. Whether you are trying to secure paternity, or you do not believe that you are the legal father, a family law firm can help. In Texas, there are two ways in which paternity can be established, depending on whether the parents agree on who the father is or not.
Establishing Paternity When Both Parents Agree
When both parents agree on who the biological father is, paternity can be established voluntarily by them each signing an “Acknowledgment of Paternity”. Often, this is completed at the hospital after the birth of the child, but it can also be done at a later date and mailed to the Vital Statistics Unit in Austin. If the child’s birth certificate has already been mailed, then there will be a fee to add the father’s name. Once a man’s name is on the birth certificate, he has parental rights and obligations.
Establishing Paternity When Parents Disagree
If there is a disagreement as to who the legal father is, paternity can be established involuntarily through a court order. Paternity may be disputed by the mother, father, child, or state. The process begins when one party files a “Petition to Adjudicate Parentage”. If this is done by someone other than the father, the man in question will need to appear in court. If they fail to do so, then the Judge could enforce a “default order”, declaring him the legal father.
If the father does attend court and agrees that he is the legal father, then the court will enter an order adjudicating parentage. If he disagrees then the court may order DNA testing to determine if he is the biological father. If you are facing a court proceeding to establish paternity, then you are entitled to, and may benefit from representation at any stage of the process. When you are protected by the attorney-client relationship, you ensure that you have a professional on your side fighting for your best interests.
Why Does Paternity Matter?
Established paternity is important for the parent-child relationship and benefits all parties. Once a father’s name is on the birth certificate he then has parental rights, such as custody rights and the right to make decisions in the child’s life based on things such as education and medical care. The mother will also have someone to share the responsibilities and costs of raising a child. Finally, the child can be secure in the knowledge of who their father is and may benefit from having a close relationship with both parents. They will also know about their family history, including their medical history, and could have access to things like medical insurance and inheritance.
A non-biological father may seek paternity, by formally adopting the child. Although this can be difficult, if you have a close bond with the child, and have acted as a parental figure for many years, or from birth, then you may be able to claim legal rights in regard to the child. An experienced family law attorney will be able to help you establish these things before a court and give you best possible chance of completing the process successfully.
What Are Father’s Rights?
A father’s rights attorney can help you get your name on the birth certificate. Once you are the established father, you will be granted rights such as:
The right to spend time with the child and remain in their life. There are different child custody arrangements available to you including primary custody and joint custody.
The right to make certain decisions on behalf of the child such as medical, religious, and educational decisions.
You may sign contracts on the child’s behalf.
You may seek legal counsel on behalf of the child.
The legal right to pass on assets through inheritance.
Seeking legal counsel on behalf of the child.
Appoint a legal guardian of the child.
What Obligations Does a Father Have To His Child?
Once paternity has been established, the father will be legally required to contribute to the child’s upbringing, both financially and emotionally. The court may order the father to pay child support and share custody of the child in addition to other responsibilities depending on the situation. Each case is treated differently by the court and so it is important to have an advocate on your side that understands the process.
If you believe that the child’s other parent is unfit to raise them and that it is in the child’s best interest for you to have sole custody, then you should speak to a father’s rights attorney as soon as possible. For example, if a parent has substance misuse issues or they have a history of committing abuse, then it may be damaging for a child’s well-being for them to have custody. The court prefers both parents to stay in a child’s life and even if these circumstances are present, they may still award supervised visitation. In the meantime, a family law attorney can help you file emergency protective orders to keep your children safe.
Speak to a Family Law Attorney at Skillern Firm
If you are dealing with a paternity case in Katy, TX, then you need a father’s rights lawyer who will do everything possible to protect your future. Establishing paternity is important for all parties, and has a big impact on your future. Whether you are fighting against paternity, or believe that your name should be on the child’s birth certificate, a law firm can guide you through the process and give you the best chance at a positive outcome.
Skillern Firm is committed to family law cases. We have dealt with numerous past clients in a similar position to you and we have the skills, experience, and resources necessary to protect your future. We believe that regular communication is necessary to constitute an attorney-client relationship. We will always be on hand to answer questions and keep you informed about the progress of your case. We take the time to get to know you and personalize our approach to your case.
We are highly skilled in negotiation and will help you work through your issues amicably wherever possible. This saves you time and protects children from a long court battle. At the same time, we will be prepared to stand for your rights in a court of law.
Speak to a Skilled Paternity Rights Lawyer in Katy, TX Today!
Give us a call to arrange an initial consultation with our team of Katy paternity lawyers today at (936) 213-8479.