Establishing legal paternity is a very important step for any Texas resident who has children. It’s not something that should be taken lightly, and it can have long-lasting effects on your family life. Read this article to learn more about the benefits of establishing legal paternity, and contact a Sugar Land paternity lawyer to discuss your specific situation.
What is Legal Paternity?
Legal paternity is the legal determination of who a child’s father is. This means that it establishes who has parental responsibilities, rights, and duties for children born to unmarried parents. Even if unmarried parents live together, a father is not known as the legal parent until certain steps have been taken.
Legal paternity can provide your child with certain protections in the case of any unexpected events such as injury, death, disability, or mental illness. For example, if a mother passes away and legal paternity is known, custody rights can go directly to the legal father in many cases. Refusing to establish legal paternity could lead to a child being inserted into the foster care system until a next-of-kin can be determined and guardianship established.
Legal Paternity Allows Fathers to Fill Out a Birth Certificate
If you are the unmarried father of a newly born child, legal paternity will allow you to fill out their birth certificate. This is very important for establishing your role in the family and ensuring that all parental rights and responsibilities are properly shared between the parents.
Legal Paternity Allows Children to Inherit from a Father
Establishing legal paternity will provide a child with inheritance rights to their father’s estate. If a father dies without being legally acknowledged as the parent, the child would not be entitled to any benefits or property if the father did not have a will.
Legal Paternity Allows Fathers To Take Care Of Their Children In The Case of Illness
If you establish legal paternity, then you might be able to make decisions about medical care and other important decisions for the child. Without legal parentage, you might not have access to your child in the hospital or another medical facility.
Legal Paternity Can Lead to Visitation and Support Orders
Legal paternity can also lead parents or the court to set up visitation and support orders for both parents. This helps fathers maintain relationships with their children and make sure that they are able to spend quality time together when possible, even if it’s not on a consistent basis. It also ensures that both parents provide financially for the child.
What Happens if You Don’t Establish Legal Paternity?
The absence of an established paternity order may leave both parents with uncertain roles in regard to certain responsibilities such as financial support or decision-making power over major life decisions affecting the children. In addition, it’s possible that any parent could find themselves blocked from gaining access to critical information about their children, like grades at school or medical records.
Contact a Sugar Land Paternity Lawyer Today
Are you interested in seeking legal paternity for your child? If so, our team at Jamie Jordan, PLLC, would love to speak to you about your options. Contact us today to speak to a member of our team about your case.