For father’s parental rights are incredibly important in Texas. Having these rights allows you to be a part of your child’s life and protects you against problems that can arise with the mother. According to the Attorney General, if you are married to the child’s mother, then paternity is established at birth due to the marriage. Unfortunately, things are a little more difficult if you are not married because just putting your name on the birth certificate does not establish paternity.
If you and the mother are together and have a solid relationship, you will find it pretty simple to get paternity established because all you will have to do is both sign an Acknowledgement of Paternity. You file this with the court and the court will grant paternity, giving you full parental rights.
For many men, the struggle occurs when they are no longer with the mother in a relationship or when there is tension or issues between him and the mother. Because paternity gives you rights to see the child and be a part of his or her life, the mother may want to fight it or avoid establishing it. She may refuse to sign the AOP.
If this happens, you will have to get a court order for paternity testing. The court will then make a ruling once testing proves you are the father. This can take time because you will have to work within the court’s schedule. Additionally, the mother is compelled to follow the court order, but if she does not show up for testing with the child, then it could take more legal proceedings and cause a delay. This information is for education and is not legal advice.