Texas fathers have the right to maintain a strong relationship with their children. This does not change after a divorce, and it applies to unmarried fathers as well. A dad who was not married to the mother at the time of the child’s birth may find it necessary to establish paternity in order to secure custody rights. This can be a complex process, but it is often a necessary effort in order to preserve parental rights and the interests of the children.
Fathers are financially obligated to support their children, but they also have the right to regular access to them. Establishing paternity is often the first step in the process of securing visitation rights. If both the mother and the father are in agreement about updating custody plans and naming the dad as the biological father, it may be as simple as completing some paperwork.
However, if there are disputes regarding the parentage of the child and the father is not currently able to see his child or have a say in his or her life, other steps may be necessary. A father may need court intervention, as well as DNA testing. Each paternity action is unique, making it important to have experienced guidance at every step.
A family law attorney is an important advocate for a Texas dad looking to be an active and involved parent. Establishing paternity can be a complex and discouraging process, but a father does not have to walk through this alone. If precluded from regular access to the kids and involvement in their lives, it may help for a dad to first seek a thorough explanation of his parental rights.