Possession and access refer to the actual time that you have with your child, more often referred to as “visitation”. Then the court will move forward and make decisions about custody and visitation. According to child custody laws in Texas, an unmarried father must take legal steps before having any specific rights over their child. The mother did not live with the presumed father or engage in sexual relations with him during the time the child was conceived. Child custody laws in Texas for unmarried parents work the same as they do for married parents. Again, this goes beyond having your name on the child’s birth certificate. Only then can the father seek out custody of any kind. In Texas, if a child’s parents are unmarried, the mother has automatic custody rights over the child, both physical and legal. Thiessen Law Firm’s Taly Thiessen is a leading father’s rights lawyer in Houston. If the alleged father in the paternity suit is at least 99% likely to be the biological father, the court will make a finding adjudicating him as the child’s father. Most people go one of two ways to establish paternity: by signing an “Acknowledgement of Paternity” (AOP) or getting a DNA test. After paternity is established either through a presumption of paternity, an acknowledgment of paternity, or an adjudication of paternity, the court will determine custody, visitation, and child support. Please call or complete the form below and we will respond back as soon as possible. The other parent will have rights of possession, often called visitation rights. Call Thiessen Law Firm at 713-864-9000 or request a consultation today. Either name the child’s presumed father or state that the child does not have one, State that there is no other acknowledged or adjudicated father, and. The information on this website is for genenral information purposes only. Unmarried Fathers’ Rights in Texas. Again, this goes beyond having your name on the child’s birth certificate. This parent has the right to determine the child’s primary residence and to receive child support from the other parent. Struggling to establish paternity or get child custody? State the results of any genetic testing. One parent will be designated as the primary conservator. They include the right to consent to medical, dental, and psychological treatment, as well as make decisions regarding education. In most cases, the court will appoint both parents as joint conservators, meaning that both will have the right to participate in making important decisions for the child. This information is not intended to create, and receipt or viewing does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship. If you submit an acknowledgment of paternity, the law will recognize you as the child’s father. Home » Blog » 3 Child Custody Laws in Texas for Unmarried Parents. © 2020 Thiessen Law Firm. Both the father and the mother have the ability to initiate a paternity suit. Meanwhile, an unmarried father has extremely limited rights, even if his name is on the birth certificate. Custody and Visitation for Unmarried Parents. If you are an unmarried parent, it is important that you have someone to represent your interests and help you navigate the special rules for establishing paternity. First, a custody arrangement or court order is broken down into multiple key items. Under Texas law, the court will designate either one or both parents as conservators of the child. In other words, Texas child custody laws can have a huge impact on your quality of life. The fact is that the court can still issue orders regarding children whether you are married or not. But what if the parents are not married? Unmarried parents who haven’t established a legally binding child custody arrangement, will want to find a top-rated child custody and child support attorney in Houston. All Rights Reserved. There is no statute of limitations on paternity suits in Texas unless the child has a presumed father. Unmarried mothers and fathers in Texas generally have the same rights as married parents. Conservatorship, rights and duties, possession, access, support are all main issues when determining custody. If the mother is unwilling to sign an acknowledgment of paternity, you can establish that you are the father by filing a paternity suit. Most often, it’s the father who must fight for child custody, so we’ll start there. However, because unmarried fathers have to take extra steps to establish their paternity, securing those rights can be a little complicated.
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