Paternity is the term given to the legal rights that come with fatherhood. Without legally establishing the identity of a child’s father, many parents will not be able to enforce their rights and do what is best for their children. Thankfully, a skilled family law attorney could help with establishing paternity if you are a father or mother looking to protect the wellbeing of your child.
In some cases, paternity is assumed. In others, a lawsuit is necessary to make this determination. While the processes vary, there is always a way for a person that believes they are the father of a child to have the matter addressed. A Pearland paternity lawyer could be able to help with these efforts.
Establishing paternity is often only necessary in cases of an unmarried mother giving birth. Because there is a presumption of fatherhood for married fathers, many of these men do not need to take additional steps to establish their rights. It is important to note, however, that this presumption could be rebutted by providing evidence that someone else is the father. When this happens, additional legal steps could be necessary to determine paternity.
There are two different methods to establish paternity under the law. The best approach in a given situation will largely depend on the relationship between the mother and the father. A lawyer in Pearland could assist with either option for establishing paternity.
The simplest of the two options involves voluntarily establishing paternity. This can happen when both the mother and father agree. This method only requires that both parents execute a legal document known as an acknowledgment of paternity. This document creates a presumption of fatherhood similar to the one that exists between married couples.
When the voluntary method is not an option, either the mother or prospective father could pursue a lawsuit to involuntarily establish paternity. This option could be necessary when the relationship between the parents has frayed, or one of them does not believe the man in question is the father.
Through this option, the parent seeking to establish paternity must file a case with the court and have the other party served with notice. Typically, a DNA sample is taken from the father to determine if it is a match with the child. If there is a match, the court will establish the father’s paternity.
Legally establishing the identity of a child’s father is important for both parents as well as the child. This formal relationship confers many rights on the child, including the right to inherit. It can also provide important rights to the father, including legal custody and visitation. For a mother, establishing paternity allows her to seek financial assistance from her child’s other parent. An attorney in Pearland could help a father or a mother secure these rights after establishing paternity.
Whether you are pursuing your rights as a parent or intend to hold the father of your child financially accountable, the process of proving paternity can be challenging. Let a Pearland paternity lawyer guide you along the way. Our team of dedicated attorneys could advise you throughout this process and work hard to do what is best for your children. Call now.