What is Paternity?
There are times that when a couple is not married but have children, the child will not have an acknowledged legal father. This is because Paternity is not yet established.
In the eyes of the law, Paternity should be established in order for a child to have a legal father, even without the child’s parents marrying. For a brief background, Paternity covers the state of being a father to a person.
When Paternity is established in a family, the father’s name will be indicated in the birth certificate of the child. In the same manner, the father will also have certain rights to the child.
There is a possibility that the child’s biological father who is no longer in good terms with the family will be replaced by the new standing father in the family. When this happens, the best document that the spouses must acquire in is the Paternity Order.
In Texas, Paternity is acquired when one gets a paternity order. This will be the indication to who will be the child’s father in the family that will be generally accepted in all referring documents, and to all references that will need the name of the father.
Paternity orders will include the terms of the visitation, financial support, medical support and custody of the child. It is important to note however that the spouses are also presented with the option to only establish Paternity, without having to pass a Paternity Order in the court.
Acknowledgment of Paternity
Paternity will be acknowledged in this manner if the parents are in good terms and are willing to sign a certain document that will establish that the parent is the legal father of the child. This document is called the “Acknowledgement of Paternity.” This must be signed by both parties, and it will be valid in the court for the rightful father to claim the child as his own.
However, this Acknowledgement of Paternity, as the name claims it, will only get to the surface of the father claiming the child. The Acknowledgement of Paternity does not cover the terms and conditions with regard to visitation, custody, and financial support. In order to get these terms in order, the spouses must go through the process of getting a Paternity Order.
One of the useful offices in government that will help parents get a paternity order is the Office of the Attorney General. It is important to contact the OAG in order to get steps on how to process Paternity Orders.