Our firm is dedicated to taking on the legal challenges that come with determining and protecting the rights of fathers. A child deserves to receive love and care from both parents, just as both parents should have the right to develop a relationship with their children. Unfortunately, this can be easier said than done. If you are a father going through divorce proceedings or experiencing parental alienation, then you may be all too familiar with how frustrating it can be trying to gain access to your child. This is where one of our Houston fathers’ rights lawyers comes in.

To protect the relationship between you and your child, you need a family attorney who knows the law and your legal rights as a father fighting by your side.

Who May Legally Qualify as a Father?

Before a father can start pursuing his rights, he must determine if he qualifies as a legal parent. The law is very protective of children and only someone who legally qualifies as a parent can gain access to the child and claim parental rights. State law defines a legal father as any person who established legal paternity either through a court order, by signing an Acknowledgement of Paternity, or by never denying paternity. A person may qualify as a legal father under the following conditions:

Presumed Father

A presumed father is someone who was married to the mother when the child was born. A person is also presumed to the father if he was married to the mother during the first 300 days before the child’s birth or was living with the child as their parent during the first two years of the child’s life.

Alleged Father

An alleged father is someone who claims to be the child’s parent. Claiming that someone is a child’s father does not automatically guarantee this party rights and responsibilities. In these situations, legal rights will only be granted once paternity is established. Talking to a paternal rights attorney in Houston can help provide guidance on what a father needs to do to confirm their paternity legally.

Biological Father

Biological fathers must be related to the child by blood. To gain and maintain any rights, the father will still have to provide proof of paternity before a court of law. This is typically not an issue if the father is married and still living with the child’s mother. Issues may arise if the parents are going through a divorce where one is trying to alienate the other. In such a case, the court must put the child’s interests first, therefore, a father must prove paternity before he can start claiming their rights as the child’s parent.

What Rights Does a Father Have?

One of the most important reasons to take time determining paternity is to ensure that a father can create and maintain a relationship with his child. The law provides the following rights for fathers:

  • The right to be in physical possession of their child either through custody or visitation
  • The right to direct their child’s morals and any religious teachings that they may be exposed to
  • The right to ask for their child’s medical and school records
  • The right and duty to take care of and support their child
  • The right to represent their child in legal matters
  • The right to direct their child’s physical residence

An attorney in Houston who deals with fathers’ rights cases could help a parent determine how to protect and pursue these rights.

Speak with a Houston Fathers’ Rights Attorney

In an ideal world, your child should get to enjoy what it feels like to have both parents actively involved in raising them. Unfortunately, this is not always the case. Whether you are going through a divorce or you feel like your rights are not being respected, it may be time to involve a Houston fathers’ rights lawyer. For more information, contact the attorneys at Angela Faye Brown & Associates today.