Fort Worth Paternity Attorney

When a couple is married at the time of a child’s birth, paternity is presumed in the eyes of the law. Paternity refers to identifying the legal father, and paternity must be legally established if the parents are not married. While every child has a biological father – whether he is known to the child or not – the same is not true when it comes to having a legal father. The establishment of paternity awards the father with parental rights and responsibilities and can be beneficial to everyone involved.

If you have questions or concerns regarding paternity, an experienced Fort Worth paternity attorney can help.

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Establishing Paternity

Paternity in the State of Texas is generally established in one of the following ways:

  • The parents are married when the child is born.
  • The parents agree in relation to paternity and proceed to sign and file an Acknowledgement of Paternity, which often happens at the time of birth in the hospital, and the father’s name is added to the birth certificate.
  • If either parent is attempting to establish paternity but the other is in disagreement on the matter, the court will likely order DNA testing.
  • If the mother seeks state aid for the child, the state can initiate its own paternity case.

Once paternity is established, important rights and responsibilities generally come into play.

Paternity: The Benefits

Establishing who a child’s father is can benefit the child, the father, and the mother in primary ways.

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The Child

It is well established that children’s best interests are supported when they’re allowed to form solid relationships with both parents, and establishing who a child’s father is is the first step in the process. In fact, this aspect of paternity can prove invaluable. The child also, however, benefits in more practical ways, including the following:

  • The child benefits from the father’s added financial support.
  • The child benefits from state inheritance rights.
  • The child can receive benefits from the father’s employment-based health insurance.
  • The child can receive benefits that flow from the father, such as those related to veteran’s benefits or disability benefits.
  • The child can become a beneficiary on the father’s life insurance policies, retirement accounts, and other beneficiary-based financial tools.

The Father

Paternity affords the father both rights and responsibilities as a parent. These responsibilities include paying child support, and the rights can extend to having a regular parenting time schedule with the child. Few would deny that the rewards that come from being a parent are difficult to overstate, which can make the establishment of paternity a real gift for the father.

Child Support

In Texas, child support is based on a wide range of factors that include the primary concerns of each parent’s earning and the number of overnights each parent has with the child. Child support is intended to spread the cost of supporting a child financially between both parents – according to their ability to pay. Ultimately, the parent whose earnings are higher generally makes the child support payments.

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Parenting Time

Parenting time refers to how both parent’s divide their time with their child. Texas courts base parenting time determinations on the best interests of the children, and as such, they only cut one parent’s access off when there is an important reason – that is based on protecting the child – for doing so. As such, the establishment of paternity often leads to parenting time for the father.

Some of the best interest factors the court turns to when it makes parenting time decisions include:

  • The child’s needs, including any special needs
  • Each parent’s preferences on the matter
  • Each parent’s ability to address the child’s needs
  • Each parent’s commitment to fostering the child’s ongoing relationship with the other parent
  • How far apart the parent’s live, and the degree to which travel will play a role in parenting time
  • Any other factors the court deems relevant.

The Mother

The mother can also benefit considerably from the establishment of paternity. To begin, the child support payments she receives provide her with additional resources to raise and care for the shared child. Further, the father’s parenting time schedule can afford the mother a much-needed break in her single parenting routine, which can be exceptionally challenging. Finally, the enrichment the child gains from having a relationship with their father can also be very meaningful to the mother.

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Constance Mims

Constance Mims has over fifteen years of experience practicing exclusively family law. Mrs. Mims is Board Certified in Family Law, by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. She is Collaborative Law certified and is a shrewd negotiator, not to mention her experience in the most challenging child custody, child support, spousal maintenance, alimony, prenuptial agreements, and divorce issues, both in court and in the appellate arena.

Don’t Wait to Consult with an Experienced Fort Worth Paternity Attorney

Paternity cases are highly important and beneficial for everyone involved. However, you need the right legal representation to ensure you protect your parental rights regarding child custody, support, and related issues. The legal team at MBH Fort Worth | Family Law assists both mothers and fathers with paternity-related matters. Never hesitate to reach out and contact us online for more information about how we can help you today.

Client Reviews

What our clients are saying about us

Kam J.

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Hands down one of the most professional and respected family law firms around. I wouldnt trust any other firm to represent me. I have had the pleasure to be represented by a few attorneys at the firm. They are fast, respectful, and above all trust worthy.

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    I highly recommend this law firm. I have had Brian and Kelly both represent me in now three seperate cases. They are men of integrity that are very prompt to answer questions and get back to you on important matters. They have always been well organized and stayed on top of the important information relevant to my cases. ...

    Loyd Camp
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    Timothy Alexander did an exceptional job handling my divorce case. He was extremely prepared, very informative, and he made sure I was always kept in the loop. His professionalism, guidance and empathy tremendously helped during what could have been a much more difficult time. I was so pleased with the final outcome and ...

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    Highly recommend this law firm. Andrew McAlester goes above and beyond for his clients. He’s very resourceful and prompt in communication. I always refer Mr. McAlester to my family and friends in their time of need because I trust his judgement and I know he has his clients well being at the forefront of everything.

    William Hawthorne
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    Tim Alexander represented me during my divorce. His compassion, empathy and communication during the process helped keep additional stresses out of an already stressful situation.

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    I highly recommend this firm. I mainly worked with Andrew McAlester. Andrew was super helpful and courteous during a very stressful situation that I found myself in. Thanks for everything!

    Dante Martinez
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    Timothy Alexander is an amazing lawyer. He helped me with everything I needed to do to get my divorce final in a very short period of time. I always try to refer to him when anybody asks for a divorce lawyer. Thank you for everything you’ve done.

    Autumn Colson
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    Kelly & Brian helped us in our child custody case and I am very pleased by their work. Our case ended up last almost 2 yrs due to COVID, however they were very easy to communicate with and constantly kept us up to date on our case and the courts. I would highly recommend them if you are needing a great custody lawyer ...

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    Mr. Alexander was the utmost professional. He was timely in his communication and very thorough in his answers. His approach helped make a difficult situation tolerable. One thing I greatly appreciated is that he did not just tell me what I wanted to hear. He would offer suggestions and allow me to make the final decisio ...

    Heather Varon
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    Kelly & Brian were amazing attorneys. I came to them when I really needed help with child custody issues, and they were committed to reaching the best possible outcome. I am writing this to express my most sincere thanks, and gratitude for their professionalism. They stuck by me through the last year in dealing with ...

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    Things happen and you need someone to tell it to you straight. Andrew McAlester is someone I trust to help me navigate through these difficult times.

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This page has been written, edited, and reviewed by a team of legal writers following our comprehensive editorial guidelines. This page was approved by Founding Partner, Constance Mims who has over 15 years of experience practicing exclusively family law. Mrs. Mims is Board Certified in Family Law, by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization..

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