Unmarried fathers in Texas and throughout the country may be able to obtain certain rights to their children by signing an acknowledgment of paternity form. These rights include the need to be consulted before a son or daughter is put up for adoption. A child’s legal father will generally be required to pay child support and may obtain visitation rights. However, there is no guarantee that this will occur. There is also no guarantee that an individual will obtain custody rights to a child after acknowledging paternity.
Custody and visitation rights are typically determined at a court hearing after the identity of the father has been confirmed. It may also be possible for a father to have his name added to a child’s birth certificate after the document is submitted. It is important to note that the birth mother will need to sign the form as well, and the signing may need to be witnessed by two uninterested parties.
If the mother doesn’t agree that a particular man is a child’s father, it will likely be necessary to schedule a paternity hearing. Acknowledgment of paternity forms are typically available at the hospital where a baby is born. If a man chooses to fill out the form after the baby leaves the hospital, it may be possible to obtain the document elsewhere and submit it to the appropriate state agency.
An attorney may be able to assist a parent who has questions about child custody & support matters after paternity has been established. An attorney may explain how child custody rights are granted and how child support amounts are calculated by the state. Legal representatives might be able to represent individuals during child custody hearings or in the event that other disputes need to be resolved in court.