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Establishing Paternity

Posted on in Paternity

LucyWhy establish paternity?

  • According to Texas law, a child born to two parents who are not married has no legal father. When the parents complete an Acknowledge of Paternity (AOP) to establish legal fatherhood because there is a difference between a legal father and a biological father. An AOP helps to secure legal rights of the child.
  • Until paternity is established, child support cannot be ordered by the courts.
  • Until paternity is established, the father cannot enforce his right to visitation or possession of the child.
  • If paternity is established, the father can help to provide health insurance and other benefits for the child.
  • Some health problems such as disorders inherited from parents do not appear later in the child's life after birth, having the medical history of both the mother and the father will help doctors to know how to treat the child.

What is included in "establishing paternity"?

After both parents sign an Acknowledgement of Paternity, it is filed with the Bureau of Vital Statistics and the biological father becomes the legal father as well. After the paternity is established, the father's name is added to the birth certificate. After being established, the father can be ordered to pay child support and grant him possession or visitation of his child.

Why establish paternity at the time of birth?

First off, the birth is the most convenient time because everyone is together in one place and all the necessary forms are available in Texas hospitals. The hospitals will make sure that all the forms are in order and sent to the right place. Secondly, the earlier in the baby's life that the paternity is established the more stable and secure his or her life will be.

If have recently had a child or have had a child and he or she has no legal father in Texas, contact a family law attorney. To give your child two parents that he or she deserves, contact Powers and Kerr, PLLC in Austin, Texas for help.

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