Father’s Rights


illegitimate child
Single parenthood, in recent years, has been increasing dramatically. Every year, there are more than a million children who were born to unmarried parents. This is becoming an issue when talking about a child’s mental and emotional development. Especially in cases involving the child’s legal rights and legitimacy, proving the paternity has been very crucial. If the child’s parents cannot establish paternity, their child will grow up not having a legitimate father. This will, later on, raise concerns of discrimination between non-marital children and those children who were born to married parents particularly in the issue of inheritance. The Texas Family Code enumerated the instances where paternity is already presumed. When the child was born during the marriage, paternity has already been established between the father and child. All the conditions stated provide that the parents should be or has been married. One should go through a legal proceeding in order to establish the paternity of the alleged father of a child born out of wedlock. How to Prove Paternity The most common way to test paternity is through DNA testing. This is done by obtaining a tissue or blood sample from the child and from the alleged biological father. Physical characteristics say a lot in identifying that a man could be the father of a child. However, DNA testing is the most plausible method in establishing paternity. Although it may be costly, the results would be reliable. The court acknowledges this as solid evidence. Producing legal documents can also help to prove paternity. An example is a birth certificate which provides the name of the man who is allegedly the father. Another possibility that could be used as proof is to show that the alleged father claims the child as his dependent. This is usually proven in payment of […]

Establishing the Paternity of a Deceased Father   Recently updated !


summer visitation
Many divorced parents have already come up with summer plans to spend with their children during that time. Exciting as it may, schedules for summer visitation tend to be confusing. The Texas Family Code provides some regulations. This article will talk about things to keep in mind when formulating a summer possession schedule.  Written Notice A written notice must be provided by the possessory conservator indicating their chosen vacation days by April 1st. This date may be changed by final orders. It is important to refer to their Divorce Decree, Final Order in Suit Affecting the Parent-Child Relationship,  or Final Order in Suit to Modify the Parent-Child Relationship. The notice can be in the form of a letter, or other electronic communication such as e-mail. Make sure that the notice is in writing. Keep any proof of the sent notice. Never send the notice with the child to the other parent. The possessory conservator cannot select the days of visitation if the deadline has lapsed. However, if the managing conservator agrees to it, the possessory conservator may still choose the days of visitation. If there is no agreement on the dates, statue provides a schedule which will be the entire month of July. It starts at 6:00 PM on July 1st and ends at 6:00 PM on July 31st. An extension of summer designations is permitted as long as the possessory conservator gives notice in advance. Choosing the Dates The freedom to choose visitation dates has limitations. The day before the last day of school and a week before it starts cannot be chosen. The possessory conservator can choose to have up to 30 consecutive days for summer vacation. The managing conservator can select any weekend from Friday to Sunday. He or she will personally pick up at 6:00 PM […]

Summer Visitation for a Divorced Parent in Texas



cyber visitation
Virtual Visitation has been successfully incorporated into laws of some states that that are concerned with custody and visitation. Texas is one of these states. Definition The use of any kind of technology to communicate with the child when physical visitation is impossible. Any application or software that allows video chatting and any similar technology are all considered as virtual visitation platforms.  Pros and Cons Virtual visitation is important especially to a parent who works far away from the place of residence of the child. A prime example of this situation is those working overseas such as those serving in the military. Virtual visitation gives the parents who are away from their children a chance to communicate with the child. It also promotes a long-lasting relationship between the parent and child despite the absence of normal visitation.  The upside of virtual visitation is giving parents who are far to continue building a good relationship with their child. Simply being present in important events of your child such as holidays, school events or just having a good conversation with them at the end of the day, in some real way or manner, can really make a huge impact in the life of their child.  On the other hand, a downside of this kind of visitation is the fact that it cannot successfully replace normal physical visitation because this includes intimacy which is not present in virtual visitation. As a parent, no technology can replace holding your loved ones especially a parent being able to hug their young child. In addition to Physical Visits Some parents are concerned about virtual visitation becoming the new normal visitation in this day and age of technology. Hence, they think that courts will have virtual visitation as an option for the latter to order. An important […]

The Importance of Virtual Visitation for Separated Parents


illegitimate child
There are children all over the world that were born in less than ideal situations. These children do not have control over their circumstances, but are often subject to a level of discrimination or difficulty. Fortunately, the law in Texas offers degrees of protection. History The state of Texas did not provide inheritance rights for illegitimate children until 1991. That was the time when the Texas Supreme Court stated that the statutes that excluded illegitimate children from this right was unconstitutional, taking its cue from the United Supreme Court’s ruling. The ruling stated that depriving the rights of illegitimate children were a violation of the Constitution, specifically the equal protection clause.  The ruling stated that illegitimacy, like race or country of origin is beyond a citizen’s control. It is also not an indicator of his/her capacity to participate and contribute to society. Thus, using it as a basis for exclusion is a violation of the equal protection clause. Texas Probate Code  In accordance with that principle, the Texas Probate Code now states that illegitimate children can have the same inheritance from their parents as those of the legitimate children, under certain conditions. The key here is establishing paternity. There are many methods wherein a father can voluntarily declare that he is the father of a child. The most obvious way is through DNA testing, but he can also execute a voluntary statement of paternity in accordance with the Family Code or he can also legally adopt the child. The Probate Court also acknowledges consent forms signed by the father in cases of assisted reproduction, like in-vitro fertilization. It is also applicable to legitimate gestational agreements, provided the father is adjudicated to be the father. Once paternity is established, the child will gain inheritance rights as those with legitimate children.  In […]

Inheritance Rights of Illegitimate Children in Texas



adultery
You may have noticed that adultery has snaked its way and somewhat settled itself into the society today. There are definitely more cases of adultery nowadays than ten years ago. Statistics suggest that this is somewhat related to people becoming less religious. Media such as movies and television programs are not helping either – they just help people become more comfortable in justifying adultery and decisions related to infidelity. Technology is also a factor because it makes adultery a lot easier. This is also one of the major reasons why the number of divorce cases and broken families are steadily on the rise. This post is not meant to be judgmental or offensive. Instead, it is just meant to discuss the relevant issues surrounding divorces that stem from adultery. This is a question that many clients ask: “How will adultery impact my divorce case?” Whether you are the one who cheated or the one who has been cheated on, there is a lot of information you need to know as you go down the path to your divorce. There will also be a handful of things to consider if infidelity is what led you to pursue divorce. The Big A If adultery has influenced you to seek a divorce, it is a ‘fault’ ground for your case. In most states in the United States, you can actually get a divorce without any valid reason. This type of divorce is referred to as a no-fault divorce.  With adultery in the picture, your divorce case can also be filed on a “fault” ground as well, which can potentially have some relevance in how things are ultimately divided. Adultery is when your spouse has engaged in sexual activity with another person during your marriage. Unfaithful thoughts and flirtations are not counted as adultery. […]

How Adultery and Pregnancy Affects a Divorce Case in Texas


x
  The holiday season may be almost over but it’s not a secret that it remains a challenge for divorced parents in Texas. Divorced parents also have to buy gifts, make and carry out plans for the holidays but it’s a period they have to deal with a little differently. To top that off, the holiday obligations all parents have to deal with can cause them to lose sight of what really counts during the holiday season. This season is still one that’s meant to be celebrated and enjoyed.   Stresses and Challenges of Divorced Parents in Texas   If you are a divorced parent, you must be already well-versed regarding the challenges and the struggles this holiday season brings. For sure you have your own holiday plans, and your spouse also has his or her own plans. Both of your expectations could be different, which poses as a potential risk for disappointments on either side during the holidays. Even if things go well between you and your ex-spouse for the rest of the year in terms of co-parenting, it is the holiday season at the end of the year that will really test your civility towards each other. There can be a stifling tension between you and your co-parent, which could stem from different plans and holiday ideas. Both of you will want to have the children with you for the holidays but since you’re living separately, it’s a difficult thing to accept the fact that one must spend the holiday without the children, as per court orders. Your children will be able to sense the stress and tension and it will hinder them from completely enjoying the holidays.   Civil for the Holidays   An obvious solution to this problem is for both parents to try to remain […]

A Holiday Reminder for Divorced Parents in Texas



dna
It can be pretty horrible when you’re just minding your own business and you suddenly receive a letter from the Texas Attorney General’s Child Support Division, demanding that you pay thousands of dollars in child support. It would feel as if your world has turned upside down in a matter of seconds. To make it worse, the letter informs you that you have been delinquent in paying child support. It’s a sticky situation, especially when you know in your soul and conscience that you are not a father – you are certain that you do not have a child. Does this shocking situation sound familiar? No, it’s not a plot of a movie, this really happens in real life. Of course, cases that require paternity determination do not always unfold like this, but you get the point: it’s pretty complicated. If you are in a similar situation, or if you know someone who is in a situation similar to the one we mentioned above, you need to understand that the  situation calls for a family law attorney. Legal advice would certainly be necessary to sort out the case. In cases such as the one mentioned in our scenario above, the ‘father’ can be absolutely certain that he does not have a child out of wedlock. In most cases, he would know the person listed as the mother of the child. It could be an old friend, an old classmate or a colleague. It’s possible for these cases to arise even if he was never in a romantic relationship with the mother of the child. That’s just the way our world is today. If you find yourself in this situation, it would help if you know what to do.   What to Do When You’re Suddenly a Father (But You Think […]

Paternity and DNA Testing in Texas: What You Need to Know


father and child
There are times that when a couple is not married but have children, the child will not have an acknowledged legal father. This is because Paternity is not yet established. In the eyes of the law, Paternity should be established in order for a child to have a legal father, even without the child’s parents marrying. For a brief background, Paternity covers the state of being a father to a person. When Paternity is established in a family, the father’s name will be indicated in the birth certificate of the child. In the same manner, the father will also have certain rights to the child. Paternity Order There is a possibility that the child’s biological father who is no longer in good terms with the family will be replaced by the new standing father in the family. When this happens, the best document that the spouses must acquire in is the Paternity Order. In Texas, Paternity is acquired when one gets a paternity order. This will be the indication to who will be the child’s father in the family that will be generally accepted in all referring documents, and to all references that will need the name of the father. Paternity orders will include the terms of the visitation, financial support, medical support and custody of the child. It is important to note however that the spouses are also presented with the option to only establish Paternity, without having to pass a Paternity Order in the court. Acknowledgment of Paternity Paternity will be acknowledged in this manner if the parents are in good terms and are willing to sign a certain document that will establish that the parent is the legal father of the child. This document is called the “Acknowledgement of Paternity.” This must be signed by both parties, […]

What is Paternity?