There is a common misconception that the only reason why it is important to establish that you are a child’s father is so that you can be obligated to make child support payments. The truth is that there are many reasons why it is important to be legally recognized as your child’s father. If you are about to become a father and you are not married to the baby’s mother, speak with a knowledgeable Fort Worth, TX family law attorney who can guide you through the process of establishing your paternity.

Paternity in Texas

In the State of Texas, when a mother gives birth to a baby she is automatically registered as the biological mother. If she has a husband when she delivers the baby, that man is automatically recognized as the baby’s father, without him needing to submit to any tests or do anything to establish this. If, however, she is not married when she gives birth, no one will automatically be recognized as the father.

Paternity can be established voluntarily if the father wants to be legally recognized as such and the mother agrees to let him be involved. It can also be established involuntarily if the father does not want to be legally recognized as the father and the mother does not want him to be. The mother might get a court order compelling the father to submit to a paternity test, and if the results show that he is the biological father, he is legally considered the father.

Child support is not the only reason why paternity can be beneficial. Three main people are affected when paternity is established:

  • The father. Once he is legally recognized as the child’s father, he can also benefit from parental rights and responsibilities. He is eligible for visitation with the child and might be able to take part in important decisions that affect the child.
  • The mother. It can help the mother a great deal to know that she has someone else legally bound to take some role in her child’s life. In addition to the possibility of receiving child support payments, the father might be able to provide other types of support. It is another person she might be able to depend on in an emergency.
  • The child. With paternity established, the child can access the father’s medical information, which could have a big impact on the child’s life. Additionally, the child can be eligible for death benefits and can be listed as next of kin for any inheritance that the father might leave behind. There is also the emotional impact of growing up knowing who your father is.

 Contact a Dallas, TX Paternity Lawyer

If you are about to become a father and you are not married to the baby’s mother, you will need to establish paternity in order to be legally recognized as the father. Paternity is about more than just child support payments. A Fort Worth, TX paternity attorney can explain how. Call Clark Law Group at 469-765-3910 so we can guide you through the process.