All caring parents want to be a part of their children's lives, whether that means obtaining visitation rights, establishing sole custody, or reaching a joint custody agreement. As a father, however, you may face a unique set of legal issues that mothers do not often encounter. You might be having trouble gaining the custody arrangement you want, or your ex might refuse to share parenting time, or they might be threatening to move away with your child. Whatever your situation, it's important to understand your rights as a father in Texas.
Texas Law & Father's Rights
In the state of Texas, fathers must first establish their parental rights before they can take legal action regarding their children. If you and your child's mother were married at the time of the child's birth, your rights as a father are assumed because of your marital union. However, if parents are unmarried when their child is born, the father must prove paternity in order to establish any rights as a parent. Once you legally establish paternity, your family law attorney can help protect your rights as a father.
Establishing paternity is about more than proving you are the child's biological father. Paternity is a legal term used to refer to a parent's rights and responsibilities toward their child. Once paternity is established, the father has a right to be in his child's life, but he also has a responsibility to care for his child, usually by providing financial support.
To prove paternity in Texas, the father, or mother, must fill out an Acknowledgement of Paternity form and file it in the court system. Alternatively, if the father is unwilling to prove paternity, the mother may take the issue to court, where a judge can take action to establish legal paternity.
Protecting Your Rights as a Father
Although the law clearly forbids courts from favoring mothers over fathers, you may feel as if your parental rights are being violated in one way or another.
Fathers often seek legal help for the following reasons:
- Child custody issues
- Establishing visitation rights
- Overpaying child support
- Relocation concerns
Whatever you're dealing with, our Cleburne family law attorney is here to help. We understand how difficult it is for fathers to deal with custody and visitation issues, which is why we want to help you develop a fair, beneficial legal arrangement that allows you to be involved in your child's life. We can work with you to protect your rights and work in your child's best interest.
Contact the Law Office of Robert E. Luttrell III to discuss your father's rights case with our Cleburne divorce attorney.