Your Rights As A Texas Father : Establishing A Legal Relationship
As a father, one of the most important concerns in your life is the protection and well-being of your children. If you were not married to the mother of your children at the time of birth, it may be necessary to take the legal steps required to formally establish a relationship with your biological kids.
The entitlements and responsibilities of the legal father
If your child’s birth certificate does not specify you as the father, you will likely need to request a paternity order. If this process confirms that you are the biological father, you will be able to clearly define your role in the life of your child. Depending on the individual circumstances of your case, you may be able to enjoy some or all of the following rights:
- Custody or regular visitation
- A say in important decisions regarding the health, education or religious upbringing of your kids
- The right to be present and active in the life of your child
- A say in the relocation of your children to another state or country
Legal paternity guarantees your role as the father, regardless of whether you and the mother get along, have a cooperative relationship or are unable to work together. In addition to establishing your rights as the father, you will then be financially responsible for the child, required to pay child support and take care of other fiscal needs.
Children benefit from a strong father figure
You are not the only person who will benefit from a strong relationship with your children. Studies show that children reap great benefits from having an active, strong father figure, and it can be beneficial for every member of your family. Your kids will also benefit in the following ways:
- Regular child support payments
- Veteran survivor benefits, if you are active or former military
- Social Security benefits, in case of your death
- Health insurance benefits
Your role as a father is important, and it is well worth any effort you must make to legally establish your rights and your role in the lives of your children.
What should you do next?
If you are not the legal father, the first and most important step is to secure the assistance of an experienced family law attorney. With a legal ally advocating on your behalf, you can reach your objectives of defining your role as a caring father and protecting the best interests of your kids.