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Establishing paternity in the state of Texas can be a complex process, but the positive impact it can bring to the lives of fathers, mothers, and children is immeasurable. Paternity is the legal term for fatherhood, and allows a man to exercise his rights and responsibilities to his biological children. In addition, mothers are able to receive the financial support they need to ensure their children’s basic needs are met, and children are able to form lasting and meaningful relationships with both of their parents. At Hembree Bell Law Firm, we represent both mothers and fathers in matters of paternity, and are committed to supporting you through each step of the journey. Call today to schedule your free case evaluation with our compassionate San Antonio paternity lawyers and get your questions answered!

Voluntary vs. Involuntary Paternity 

There are many ways that paternity can be established in Texas. When a child is born to married parents, paternity is automatically assigned to the mother’s husband, whose name will be listed on the birth certificate. If a child is born to unmarried parents, no legal paternity will be assigned, and must therefore be established either voluntarily or involuntarily.

If a man and woman agree on the paternity of the child, then they can establish paternity voluntarily by signing an Acknowledgement of Paternity. This can be done at the hospital when the child is born, or later on. The man will be recognized as the child’s biological, legal father moving forward.

If a man and woman disagree on the paternity of the child, then paternity must be established by a judge involuntarily. Either party wishing to initiate the process can file a Petition to Adjudicate Parentage, which will likely lead to a court-ordered DNA test. Our experienced San Antonio paternity lawyers can advise you on your options and best course of action if you have no choice but to establish it involuntarily.

Paternity Rights And Obligations

Establishing paternity is an important step for a man to take toward building a relationship with his child. As the biological and legal father, a man has the right to visit with their child or share custody of them. They also have the right to be involved in making the decisions that will affect their upbringing, such as those involving their education, healthcare, religion, and more. It may also be crucial for a man to establish paternity in the event that he does not believe himself to be the father of a child, and would not like to be held responsible for them in any legal way.

Additionally, paternity benefits more than just a man or father. By establishing paternity, a woman can share some of the responsibilities and obligations of parenthood, thus reducing the burdens that often come with raising children.

Finally, and perhaps most importantly, a child will be able to know, and be raised by, both of their parents. The relationship between a child and their father is one that is emotionally significant and even scientifically proven to affect their childhood and beyond. Children without a father figure in their life are more likely to have poor performance in school, develop emotional or behavioral conditions, and even suffer from depression.

Our Skilled San Antonio Paternity Lawyers Can Simplify The Process 

Our team understands that paternity can often be a delicate matter, so you can rely on our professionalism and sensitivity as we work to resolve your legal issue as quickly and efficiently as possible. We will listen to your story and lead you in the direction that gets you the answers you need to move forward. Call today to schedule your free case evaluation and let us begin working on your behalf.