A father has certain legal rights when it comes to the custody of his children. Unfortunately, enforcing these rights can be challenging in some situations. For instance, there may be some additional steps a father might need to address before he can have a say in how his child is raised.

Thankfully, if you are a father and need help enforcing your rights, you do not have to do this on your own. With a compassionate family law attorney by your side, you could establish paternity and secure the rights you deserve. Let a Pearland fathers’ rights lawyer help you understand your legal options based on the facts in your case.

The Importance of Establishing Paternity

Fathers may not exercise any of their rights to their child if they have not established legal paternity. In some situations, paternity is legally assumed. In other cases, a father must take additional legal action to establish his rights.

State law recognizes a presumption of fatherhood when a married woman gives birth to a child. Under the law, her husband is presumed to be the father. Unless this presumption is rebutted with evidence that someone else is the father, the husband will secure rights and duties that come with parenthood.

Not all fathers enjoy the presumption of paternity. That said, there are other ways a man could establish paternity even without a presumption in place. The simplest way is to do so voluntarily. If both parents agree to the identity of a child’s father, this person may sign a document known as an acknowledgment of parenthood. This works in a way similar to the presumption of fatherhood. If the mother refuses to agree to an acknowledgment, the only other option is for the courts to get involved. A prospective father could pursue a motion to establish paternity and take a DNA test to determine if he is the father or not. An attorney in Pearland could assist with this process so that a father may exercise his rights as a parent.

Rights and Duties of a Father

Whether a father establishes paternity or relies on the presumption under the law, the rights and duties they have are generally the same. It is important to remember that many of the rights that come with fatherhood can be taken away by the court if a judge determines it is in the best interests of the child.

Generally, a father has the right to make decisions regarding his child’s education, religious upbringing, and medial treatment. They also have the right to reasonably discipline a child, represent them in legal action, or arrange for medical care.

There are also legal duties that come with being a father. These duties will continue to exist even if the courts take away a father’s custody or parenting time. It is a parent’s duty to provide shelter, food, medical care, clothing, and other financial support to their child. In cases where two parents are not together, the court may determine the exact amount of support a father is required to provide through monetary child support payments. A lawyer in Pearland could explain the rights and obligations that father has and what legal steps he should take to protect them.

Contact a Pearland Fathers’ Rights Attorney

While it is true that you have rights as a father, you can only make the most of those rights if they are enforced. Without fighting for your rights, you could miss out on the relationship with your children that you deserve. Do not take on this important challenge on your own. Call to learn how a Pearland fathers’ rights lawyer could protect the best interests of your child.