In order to obtain child support, paternity must be established. It can be established automatically if the child or children are born during a marriage. If the parties are unmarried, it can be established when the biological father signs an Acknowledgement of Paternity (AOP) which is often times done at the hospital shortly after the child is born. If the father is unsure as to whether he is the biological parent of the child or children, a DNA test can be conducted; however, if the parties are married, the legal presumption is that the father is the biological parent.

Why Should I Establish Paternity?

Establishing paternity secures a father’s rights as a parent. If parties with a child in common are not legally married and they separate, until there is a court order establishing paternity, custody, visitation and child support, the father does not have any legal right to keep their child or children for extended periods of time or to make legal decisions for their child or children.

Children have the right to receive financial support from both parents. A court cannot order an alleged father to pay child support until paternity has been established. In addition, children are entitled to benefits, such as social security, insurance, inheritance and veteran’s benefits, from both parents if they are available. A child might not be able to claim benefits from the father if paternity has not been established.

Make Sure Your Children’s Rights Are Protected

If paternity has never been established for your children, they could be missing out on the benefits that they would be entitled to claim. However, you shouldn’t try to do this alone. Get the help of an attorney in Austin and bring your children to a better future. Contact the Law Office of Tobie Kuykendall today.

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