Unmarried Parents Have Rights Too
Outside the well-defined legal box of marriage, your rights as an unmarried parent are subject to challenge and unprotected.
While an unmarried mother has a natural or primary right to custody of her child and the legal protections of parenthood by law, a father does not, unless his paternity is established.
Our Frisco-based family law attorneys can explain how to establish paternity and help you achieve parental rights in Texas. Please call us at 972-294-6533 to schedule a free initial consultation.
Establishing Paternity Is The First Step
While you may have a powerful bond with the child and be performing all the legal and emotional duties and responsibilities of parenthood, unless the law acknowledges the relationship, you cannot pursue or enforce those rights in a court of law. You may be unable to make certain decisions, sign medical documents and documents from the child’s school.
Without establishing paternity, a father cannot visit or care for his child without the other parent’s permission. He will continue to experience the limiting custody issues of an unmarried parent. The right to participate in decisions affecting his child’s education, health care and religious upbringing is dependent on his legal status as the father.
Establishing paternity or adopting a child provides both parent and child the legal protections of parenthood:
- A child is entitled to child support when his or her parents divorce.
- A father may legally enforce his right to visitation or possession of the child.
Yet other benefits of establishing paternity include:
- The child may be able to receive assistance from government programs such as Social Security, veterans benefits or health care.
- The father can provide health insurance and other benefits for the child.
- The child will have access to his or her family medical history.
Fathers in unmarried relationships need to establish their rights and determine their roles in their children’s lives immediately.
The assumption that father-child relationships can continue without a formal legal process is dangerous and impacts the future of a family.
Speak With Attorney Linda Risinger
We handle paternity and father’s rights cases throughout Collin County and Denton County. Please call us at 972-294-6533, or email us directly to schedule a free initial consultation regarding your parental rights.