How to Handle a Child Support Case as the Non Custodial Parent, Part Four

When it comes to handling your childsupport case as a non-custodial parent, being recognized as a legal parent is crucial. If you’re currently considered the presumed father without legal confirmation, there’s additional work to be done. Establishing legal paternity solidifies your vital relationship with the child and brings numerous benefits to all parties involved.

When you’re legally recognized as your child’s father, your name can be listed on their birth certificate. This is the first step that you will need to take in order to protect your relationship with your child.

Your relationship with the child’s mother and others may affect your involvement in your child’s life. Acknowledging or legally establishing paternity ensures you won’t miss the chance to bond with your child. Many people consider the ability to spend time with their child to be the most important part. I would agree that it is an important aspect of parenting.

However, the ability to make decisions and to care for your child is just as important if not more so. Becoming the legal father of your child grants you the rights and responsibilities of a conservator for your child. This is every bit as important as being able to spend the weekend with your son or daughter.

Benefits of establishing paternity from a Mother’s perspective

Moms reading this should be aware that there are benefits for them too when a man is legally recognized as the father of their child. The majority of children benefit from having an ongoing relationship with their mother and father. In fact, the state of Texas encourages these relationships.

The legal determination of your child’s parentage is the first step towards ensuring your child has the ability to build a relationship both with you and their father.

As we discussed in the section above, your child’s father has a legal responsibility for caring for your child. This means that you do not bear the burden of caring for your child all on your own. Child Support is only a portion of this duty to care for your child. Certainly, it extends well beyond paying you a certain amount of money each month. Child visitation, custody, and childsupport cases can only be legally started when paternity is established for a child’s father.

The last thing that I will mention as a benefit for you is that your child will become eligible to inherit money from their father and also to take advantage of their social security benefits or medical benefits as well. This lightens the financial burden on your shoulders and allows him or her to be cared for better than you would be able to do on your own.

Benefits of establishing paternity from a child’s perspective

As a parent, your obligations to your child are countless. While the law mandates basics like clothing, food, shelter, and education, real-life responsibilities go far beyond. Whether you’re a mother or father, it’s essential to ensure your child knows their father’s identity.

First and foremost, your child deserves a chance to discover their father’s identity and build a connection with his family. Just because parents are separated doesn’t imply a solitary upbringing. As a past Presidential candidate noted – it takes a village to raise a child. Legally establishing paternity enables both parents and their families to have a lasting impact on the child’s life.

There’s significance in the bond formed when a father is legally recognized as a child’s parent. Your child will also have a sense of identity and roots, knowing both parents. Children raised by one parent often have unanswered questions about their absent parent. Knowing your parents helps you understand yourself and your potential.

Moreover, being aware of your parents’ identity can provide insight into potential future health issues. This knowledge empowers you to prioritize your health and prepare for potential challenges, an often overlooked but crucial aspect of parental recognition.

Lastly, legal paternity benefits your child because both parents can initiate legal actions to provide support. Without legal paternity, only the mother can assert legal rights and duties. Yet, if paternity is confirmed, the father can also seek legal recourse if the child’s living conditions deteriorate under the mother’s care.

How to legally determine paternity

We closed yesterday’s blog post by specifying the legal means in Texas to establish paternity of a child when the child’s parents are not married to one another. In this section, we will go over each of those options in greater detail.

Sign an Acknowledgment of Paternity (AOP) form

This is the easiest way to establish paternity because it does not require the intervention of the courts. Both you and the mother of your child must sign the form voluntarily. If you find yourself in a situation where more than one man could possibly be the father of the child then you should get a DNA test prior to signing the AOP.

Typically if your child is born at a hospital, an AOP will be circulated for signature by hospital staff. However, the AOP can be signed prior to the birth of the child or once Mom and baby are at home. Keep in mind that if you want to establish orders regarding child support, visitation and custody you will need to go to court for those purposes.

Go to court to have paternity established

As we have mentioned earlier in this series of blog posts on child support, you can contact the Office of the Attorney General (OAG) in order to establish paternity. You may also hire a private attorney to do so through the district court of your county of residence. You will be tested genetically prior to being legally declared the father of your child.

If you find yourself in a situation where you and the child’s mother cannot agree on paternity or the terms of a child custody order then a judge will intervene and decide those issues for you based on the evidence presented in a trial. The judge will make rulings on paternity and child support.

More frequently asked questions regarding child support to be posted tomorrow

Stay tuned with us tomorrow to learn more about childsupport cases in Texas. If you have any questions in the meantime and would like to speak to a licensed family law attorney please do not hesitate to contact the attorneys with the Law Office of Bryan Fagan, PLLC.

Our attorneys are available six days a week to meet with you in a free of charge consultation. We would be honored to speak to you about your questions and to discuss more information about our firm with you.


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Law Office of Bryan Fagan, PLLC | Houston, Texas Child Support Lawyers

The Law Office of Bryan Fagan, PLLC routinely handles matters that affect children and families. If you have questions regarding child support, it’s important to speak with one of our Houston, TX child support lawyers right away to protect your rights.

Our child support lawyers in HoustonTX are skilled at listening to your goals during this trying process and developing a strategy to meet those goals. Contact Law Office of Bryan Fagan, PLLC by calling (281) 810-9760 or submit your contact information in our online form. The Law Office of Bryan Fagan, PLLC handles child support cases in Houston, Texas, Cypress, Klein, Humble, Kingwood, Tomball, The Woodlands, Houston, the FM 1960 area, or surrounding areas, including Harris County, Montgomery County, Liberty County, Chambers County, Galveston County, Brazoria County, Fort Bend County and Waller County.

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