Family Laws in Houston, TX can Help in Paternity Cases

Family Laws in Houston, TX can Help in Paternity Cases

When husband and wife have a child, family laws in Houston, TX, assume that the husband is the child’s father (even if he isn’t). However, when unmarried parents have children, the father must contact Parchman Law Group and take steps to establish paternity after the child is born. This step protects the father, the mother and the baby by establishing legal rights on inheritance, visitation and support.

Naming Children and Getting Birth Certificates

Accordingn to family laws in Houston, TX, a parent can name a child anything they wish, and the baby doesn’t have to have the parent’s last name to be considered legitimate. A representative of the health department meets with the parents after the birth, and asks a few questions. The information given is typed into a form, and a birth certificate is issued. If the child is not named or a father is not listed, the birth certificate can be updated at a later time.

Establishing Paternity

The easiest way to establish paternity is to name a father on the birth certificate. Under HHS rules, all jurisdictions must offer unmarried parents a chance to establish paternity through a signed acknowledgment. Some areas pressure fathers to sign these documents, and in other places, a signature is the only way an unmarried man can get his name on a baby’s birth certificate.

Paternity Lawsuits

Legal wrangling over paternity often revolves around the father’s support obligations and his visitation rights. If a father refuses to sign a paternity acknowledgment, that does not absolve him of the responsibility of child support. The state will petition the court to establish paternity and collect support, with or without a mother’s consent.

Cases of Unsure Paternity

Although it’s a good idea to sign a paternity acknowledgment if the mother is sure about who is the child’s father, a man who is unsure should not sign the document. Anyone signing a paternity acknowledgment is responsible for support payments until the child turns 18 or paternity is disproven. If a mother needs help establishing the paternity of her child, or if a man is falsely named as a child’s father, a family lawyer can offer legal help and advice.

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