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5 Reasons Why You Should Establish Paternity in Texas

“Paternity” is the legal term for “fatherhood.” When a woman has a baby, the law automatically grants her full parental rights. Men, on the other hand, must claim the child as their own. It is generally easy to claim your legal fatherhood by signing the bird certificate. In our modern times, however, family structures are more complicated, and it may take more steps to claim a child as your own.

Establishing paternity in Texas is a critical step for families. It carries profound implications for both parents and children. In this article, we unveil five key reasons why establishing paternity is pivotal for fathers and their children.

  1. Support for the Child

Establishing paternity is more than just a legal formality. It's a crucial step toward securing a child's future. When paternity is legally recognized, it allows the child to receive support and financial assistance. These benefits are essential for the child's upbringing and development.

Child support is not simply a monthly expense. It is an investment in the child's education, healthcare, and overall quality of life. In Texas, the law demands that both parents contribute to the child's financial well-being. Without establishing paternity, mothers may find themselves bearing the financial burden alone. Moreover, some mothers stubbornly refuse to accept support, and establishing paternity could force them to take the money and use it toward the children.

A child's future is significantly tied to both parents. In the event of a father’s death, their legally recognized child has legal rights to inheritance, and they may have access to social security benefits.

Safeguarding these rights is a testament to the child's place within the family lineage, and it can provide a sense of security and continuity in the face of loss.

  1. Medical Benefits

Understanding one's medical history is a vital part of their healthcare. Knowing a biological father's medical history could save a child’s life. This knowledge can alert healthcare providers to potential hereditary conditions, allowing for early intervention and tailored medical treatment. Establishing paternity grants access to this crucial information, which can inform a child's long-term healthcare strategy.

Healthcare in the United States can be expensive, and access to health insurance is a concern for any parent. Establishing paternity can give your child access to your health insurance, which is often more affordable. This access can mean the difference between a child receiving necessary medical care or going without.

  1. Emotional and Psychological Well-Being

The bond between a father and child is unique and irreplaceable, and establishing paternity can strengthen this relationship. For many, recognizing the legal connection between a father and child can open the door to a more meaningful relationship. It can enhance a child’s self-esteem, provide a sense of belonging, and contribute to their overall emotional development.

Every child has the inherent right to know where they come from. Establishing paternity affirms a child's identity, connecting them to their family history and cultural heritage. Recognizing these family ties can have a profound emotional impact on a child. It can give them a sense of belonging and continuity. This recognition can foster a sense of pride and self-awareness that is essential for a child's emotional well-being.

  1. Custody Rights

In the realm of family law, establishing paternity profoundly impacts custody and visitation rights. Legal fatherhood protects a dad’s role in their child's life. This status allows fathers to seek custody or visitation rights, enabling them to remain involved in their child's upbringing. For the child, this legal protection gives them the opportunity to benefit from the love and guidance of both parents, which is essential for their growth and development.

When you establish paternity, you could have a voice in critical decisions for the child. Decision-making authority encompasses educational, religious, and medical decisions that can shape a child's future. Generally, this authority is called “legal custody.” Paternity gives you the right to fight for this custody.

  1. Legal Documentation

The accuracy of a birth certificate is more than just a matter of record-keeping. It is a document that has far-reaching implications throughout a child's life. Having the father's name on the birth certificate is crucial for legal and governmental documentation. This piece of paper can open up the child’s opportunities, from enrolling in school to traveling abroad.

The birth certificate serves as a foundational identity document. Keeping it accurate can prevent a multitude of complications later.

Paternity also simplifies legal processes. Whether it's enrolling a child in school, obtaining a passport, or dealing with inheritance issues, paternity provides legal validation and streamlines administrative tasks. It reduces the potential for delays and obstacles.

Cynthia Tracy, Attorney at Law, P.C. is here to help good fathers establish their legal rights. If you need help with paternity, schedule a consultation with our team by calling (281) 612-5443 or contacting us online.