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Woodway Father’s Rights Attorney

Contrary to popular belief, fathers can also find it hard to fight for their rights and build a strong relationship with their children.

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This problem is especially true for unmarried fathers because they will have to undergo a lengthy legal process to prove their paternity and get it recognized by the court. Fathers also will have to face further legal troubles if they believe that the child they are taking care of is not truly their own.

Let the experienced and talented Woodway father’s rights lawyers at Davis and Associates, Attorneys at Law help you get past the legal hurdles to help you establish or deny paternity. Our legal team can handle any type of father’s rights case and make sure that you are able to make the proper decisions no matter what decision the court gives.

Call Davis and Associates, Attorneys at Law at (254) 274-5264 for your Consultation with a Woodway Father’s Rights lawyer.

Importance of Establishing Paternity

No matter what situation you are in with the mother of your child, establishing your paternity provides several essential benefits for both you and your child. On your end as the father, you will be able to secure your parental rights and decide for your child’s needs. You can also be a constant part of their life as they grow up.

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For your children, establishing your paternity will allow them to:

  • Be entitled to financial support from both their parents. The court cannot force an alleged father to pay child support unless their paternity is established.
  • Be entitled to the benefits from their parent’s social security, inheritance, insurance, and veteran’s benefits. A child won’t be able to get the benefits from their father’s policies unless their father’s paternity is established.
  • Know their medical history, as some health problems are inheritable. By knowing their father, they can easily track where they got their health problems from.

Our Woodway father’s rights lawyers are ready to assist you in helping establish your paternity and ensure that the other parent recognizes your rights.

Establishing Paternity in Texas

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In order to establish paternity, Texas’ Family Code cites three ways how it can be done, and they are:

  • Legal presumption (when the parents are married when the child is born)
  • Filing an acknowledgment of paternity (if the father is unmarried to the mother)
  • Court order (if the father is the presumed parent and asked to take a DNA test to confirm it)

Legal Presumption

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Under the legal presumption clause, a man is considered the presumed father if:

  • He was married to the child’s mother when they were born.
  • He was married to the child’s mother anytime during the 300 days before they were born.
  • He was married to the mother after the child was born and voluntarily claimed paternity with the Vital Statistics Unit on the child’s birth certificate or on a public record where it is written that they promised support to the child as their own
  • During the child’s first two years, the man continuously lived with the child and made others aware that the child was theirs.

Acknowledgment of Paternity

If the man is not legally married to the mother but is the genetic father of the child, they can sign an Acknowledgement of Paternity (AOP). The AOP is a legal form that is signed by both the child’s mother and the presumed father, and it clearly states that the presumed father is the child’s genetic father. The form must then be submitted to the Texas Vital Statistics Unit after being completed in the hospital, which would then recognize that the man is the child’s legal father.

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If the form is not signed in the hospital, it can be completed before a certified entity, such as the nearest child support office or the local birth registrar. The entity would then forward the form to the Vital Statistics Unit.

It is crucial to remember that aside from getting the form forwarded to the Vital Statistics Unit, the AOP can only be valid if:

  • It is signed under penalty of perjury
  • Clearly states that the child has a presumed father or not. If there is a presumed father, their name should be included
  • The child’s place of birth is clearly identified
  • The child does not have an acknowledged father, or no one has signed on the AOP claiming to be the child’s father
  • The child does not have an adjudicated father, or the court has not identified the child’s father
  • States whether or not a genetic test was conducted, and if it was done, the test results should be mentioned

However, the AOP will not be valid if:

  • The child’s mother was married to someone else when they were born, or the child was born within 300 days after the divorce date, then the husband or ex-husband will be considered as the child’s presumed father. The AOP form cannot be used to establish paternity unless the Denial of Paternity (DOP) form is signed by the presumed father.
  • Another man is the child’s acknowledged father.
  • It falsely denies the existence of an acknowledged, presumed, or adjudicated father.

The presumed father can rescind the AOP they signed if a Rescission of Acknowledgement of Paternity form before the Texas Vital Statistics Unit before the 60th day after the AOP’s effective date and before a court case regarding the child’s well-being is filed before the court. If the father is unable to file the form for rescission, they may challenge the AOP in court.

Our Woodway father’s rights lawyers at Davis and Associates, Attorneys at Law can help you fill-up the AOP and get it filed before the Vital Statistics Unit. If you are the father and you believe the AOP is invalid, let us know, and we can take all necessary steps to get it invalidated by the court. Our legal team can also help you rescind the AOP by filing the Rescission of Acknowledgment of Paternity on time or by calling the necessary court case.

Denial of Paternity

If the presumed father believes they are not the child’s genetic father, they can sign the Denial of Paternity (DOP) form. In order for the form to be considered valid, the AOP must be signed by both the child’s genetic father and the mother, and both the AOP and DOP must be filed before the Vital Statistics Unit. The man filing the DOP must not have signed an AOP or been named as the child’s father in a court case.

To file the DOP, it must be done at the hospital when the child is born, and the hospital will forward it to the Vital Statistics Unit. If the DOP cannot be completed at this time, they may file it at a certified entity, which would then file it before the Vital Statistics Unit with the relevant documents to support it.

When it comes to rescinding the DOP, it follows the same requirements as rescinding the AOP. The person in question must file a Rescission of Denial of Paternity to the Vital Statistics Unit before the 60th day after the DOP’s effective date and before a case is filed regarding the child’s well-being. Failure to meet the deadline would lead to a court case to discuss the matter.

You can trust our Woodway , TX family law firm to help you file the DOP and represent you in the court case if the filing is late.

Termination of Paternity

For fathers who have a question regarding the true paternity of the children because of certain evidence, they may file a petition to Terminate the Parent-Child Relationship Based on Mistaken Paternity. When this is filed, the judge is asked to terminate the “supposed” father’s parental rights once they see the evidence that supports the petition.

Mistaken paternity can be filed only if:

  • You are not the child’s genetic father.
  • You were mistakenly named as the legal father of the child because you either signed the AOP without getting genetic testing because you mistakenly believed you were the child’s genetic father or a judge made a court order which named you as the child’s father without verifying it via genetic testing because, at the time, you mistakenly believed you were the genetic father.
  • There were misrepresentations that led you to conclude that you were the child’s genetic father.
  • You did not adopt the child.
  • You did not agree to conceive the child through assisted reproduction.
  • You are not the child’s intended father based on a court-validated gestational agreement.
  • You filed before the deadline or by the second anniversary of the date you discovered that you were not the child’s genetic father.

The court hearings that will follow can be very lengthy, depending on the position of the other parent regarding the filing. Additional forms may also be requested by the court, which can take a while if you are doing it on your own. Let our team of experienced father’s rights lawyers help you out and help you fight for your rights during the trial. We can also help you do the necessary paperwork needed to get your new status recognized by all interested parties.

Divorced Father’s Rights

For fathers who are undergoing a divorce, their father’s rights and responsibilities will not be diminished in any way. It’s because the Texas Family Code makes sure that both parents are still active in their child’s life, even if they are divorced. They will also consider the circumstances of both parents to determine how much responsibility and rights will be given to either parent.

If the mother of your children is preventing you from being active in your child’s life or ignoring your rights, let us know, and we will handle your case. We will make sure that the right legal action is done and that it will be heard by the court.

Talk To Our Legal Experts Today

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As a father, you deserve to be a part of your child’s life regardless of whether you are still unmarried to their mothers or you got separated from them through divorce. There are several legal avenues you can take to get your rights recognized, and we at Davis and Associates, Attorneys at Law can help you explore these avenues. We will also provide you with all the legal advice and resources that will allow you to make informed decisions that we can then follow up on in court.

Don’t hesitate to contact Davis and Associates, Attorneys at Law at any time, and our legal experts will get to work on getting the legal process started. We will do everything to get the ideal result for your case so you can be a step closer in being able to be involved with your child’s life.

Call Davis and Associates, Attorneys at Law at (254) 274-5264 for your Consultation with a Woodway Father’s Rights lawyer.