Fort Worth Paternity Lawyers
Helping You Establish Paternity in Tarrant County
When a child is born to a married couple, the law automatically presumes that the husband is the father. However, when a child is born to an unmarried couple, the father does not have any legal rights or responsibilities until paternity is established. If you are a father who wants to establish your parental rights, or if you are a mother who wants to establish paternity to obtain child support, you will need to take legal action.
At Coker, Robb & Cannon, Family Lawyers, we understand that paternity cases can be complex and emotionally challenging. Our Fort Worth paternity attorneys are here to provide the compassionate guidance you need to navigate the legal process and protect your rights. We have extensive experience handling all types of family law matters, and we are prepared to put our skills to work for you.
Call or contact us online to schedule a consultation with our team today.
What is Paternity?
Paternity refers to the legal recognition of a man as the father of a child. Establishing paternity is essential to determine the legal rights and responsibilities of the father in relation to the child. In Texas, as in many other jurisdictions, there are several ways to establish paternity, and doing so can bring various benefits for all parties involved, including the child, the mother, and the father.
Here are some of the benefits of establishing paternity in Texas:
- Legal Rights and Responsibilities: Once paternity is established, the father gains legal rights to the child, such as visitation, custody, and decision-making authority. This means the child can benefit from a continued and meaningful relationship with their father, and the father can play a more active role in the child's life.
- Financial Support: The child may be entitled to financial support from both parents. The establishment of paternity allows the child to receive financial support, including child support, medical insurance, and inheritance rights.
- Access to Family Medical History: Knowing the child's true parentage allows for access to important family medical history, which can be crucial for the child's health and future medical needs.
- Benefits and Insurance: The child may be eligible for various benefits and insurance through the father, such as Social Security, veterans' benefits, and health insurance.
- Emotional and Psychological Benefits: For the child, knowing their father and having a sense of identity and belonging can have significant emotional and psychological benefits. It can also help reduce the stigma often associated with being a "child of unknown paternity."
- Preservation of Inheritance Rights: Establishing paternity can secure the child's right to inherit from the father and other family members, which can be important for their financial future.
- Custody and Visitation Rights: The father can seek custody or visitation rights, providing the child with an opportunity to have a meaningful relationship with both parents, which is often in the child's best interest.
- Legal Documentation: Having legal documentation of paternity can help protect the child's and the father's rights in case of disputes or issues in the future.
How to Establish Paternity in Texas
There are several ways to establish paternity in Texas. If the parents are married when the child is born, the law presumes that the husband is the father. If the parents are not married, however, the father will need to take legal action to establish paternity.
There are three ways to establish paternity in Texas:
- Marriage: If the parents get married after the child is born, the father can establish paternity by signing an Acknowledgment of Paternity. This is a legal document that states that the father is the biological parent of the child. The father can sign the Acknowledgment of Paternity at the hospital when the child is born or at a later date. Once the document is signed, the father's name will be added to the child's birth certificate, and he will have the same legal rights and responsibilities as a father who is married to the mother.
- Voluntary Acknowledgment of Paternity: If the parents are not married, they can establish paternity by signing a Voluntary Acknowledgment of Paternity. This document is similar to the Acknowledgment of Paternity, but it can be signed at any time. Once the document is signed, the father's name will be added to the child's birth certificate, and he will have the same legal rights and responsibilities as a father who is married to the mother.
- Legal Action: If the parents are not married and the father does not want to sign an Acknowledgment of Paternity, the mother can take legal action to establish paternity. The mother can file a paternity lawsuit, or the Texas Attorney General's Office can file a paternity lawsuit on her behalf. The court will order the father, mother, and child to take a DNA test. If the test shows that the man is the biological father, the court will issue an order of paternity. The father's name will be added to the child's birth certificate, and he will have the same legal rights and responsibilities as a father who is married to the mother.
Once paternity is established, the father will have the right to seek custody or visitation with the child. The father will also have the obligation to provide financial support for the child. The mother will have the right to seek child support, and the child will have the right to inherit from the father.
How Our Fort Worth Paternity Attorneys Can Help
Establishing paternity can be a complex and emotionally challenging process. At Coker, Robb & Cannon, Family Lawyers, we are here to provide the compassionate guidance you need to navigate the legal process and protect your rights. Our Fort Worth paternity lawyers can help you understand your legal options and make informed decisions every step of the way. We will work closely with you to develop a personalized legal strategy tailored to your unique goals and circumstances.
Our paternity lawyers in Fort Worth can help you with the following, and more:
- Explaining your rights and options
- Helping you understand the legal process
- Answering all of your questions and concerns
- Reviewing your situation and determining the best course of action
- Representing you in all hearings and proceedings
- Protecting your rights and fighting for your best interests
Our team is committed to providing the personalized legal solutions you need and the supportive guidance you deserve. We will be available to answer your questions and address your concerns at every stage of the process. You can rely on us to provide the strong representation you need and the caring counsel you deserve.
Contact us today at to let us explore your legal options and help you establish paternity.
Duane Coker Attorney & Founding Shareholder
Kelly K. E. Robb Attorney & Senior Shareholder
Jacqueline Cannon Attorney & Senior Shareholder
Shelby D. Hart Attorney & Shareholder
Malorie Crosley Attorney
Lauren Cardamone Attorney
C. Ashley Covert Attorney
Anthony Pax Attorney
Sheba George Attorney
Victoria McDowell-Drew Attorney
Tyler Livingston Attorney
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Working Hard to Achieve the Best Results Possible
110+ Years of Combined Legal Experience
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