Many people think about paternity as a scandalous topic suited for daytime talk shows. However, establishing paternity is a serious issue that affects the lives of parents, presumed parents and children.
Confirming paternity can be crucial for several reasons.
- It allows a mother to seek child support. A mother can only seek child support from a man if the law recognizes him as legally responsible for the child. Without having a paternity test to confirm that responsibility, a mother may not ask the courts for financial contributions from the presumed father.
- It gives the father the right to request child custody. A man who has no legal status as a child’s parent has no right to custody of that child. Establishing paternity allows the father to seek custody and visitation orders.
- It ensures the law recognizes an unmarried man as the father. A child born to an unmarried mother does not have a father in the eyes of Texas laws. To ensure the law recognizes a man who is not married to the mother as a child’s father, he must confirm paternity voluntarily or through court orders.
- It prevents mistaken paternity. It can be devastating for a man to learn that he has formed a relationship with and taken responsibility for a child who is not biologically his. To prevent this, parents and presumed parents who are unsure of who a child’s father is should establish paternity.
- It provides the biological information a child may want to understand his or her lineage in the future. Understanding where you come from is incredibly important for many people. Establishing paternity can connect a child to his or her father’s family, culture and history.
- It can answer critical genetic and medical information that can improve a child’s health care. Our family history and genetic data are more crucial than ever, as they can provide vital information that improves medical testing, treatments and prevention.
Establishing paternity can be crucial, whether your reasons are legal, financial, familial or medical. And you do not need to navigate the legal process alone: You can work with our firm of family attorneys to understand your rights and pursue the answers you deserve.