The courts of Texas don't require individuals to have counsel to handle their legal dealings. However, attempting to brave the complicated and confusing maze that is the law on one's own can be hazardous. Rights you want to defend could be lost. Alternatively, if matters aren't handled correctly, you could find yourself facing obligations you can't handle and don't deserve.
If you are a father or an alleged father seeking to either establish rights or avoid responsibilities that shouldn't be yours, you owe it to yourself and perhaps to the other parties involved to work with an experienced attorney.
How an attorney can help depends on circumstances. Consider the following.
- Paternity: Establishing paternity isn't just a matter of holding a man responsible for the financial needs of a child. That certainly can be a factor in determining child support questions. But it may also become important in other situations, such as custody, visitation or in relation to inheritance.
- Adoption: If you are a father and want control over whether your child is given up for adoption, you need to establish paternity through the processes set up by the state. Particular nuances may exist depending on the state laws that apply. An attorney can decipher what may be required.
- Giving up rights: Under Texas law a husband whose wife gives birth to a child is presumed to be the father. Maybe that's not the case and perhaps you as the presumed father don't feel you should be responsible for the general welfare of the child. Unless you go through specific steps to deny paternity, you remain the father of the child in the eyes of the law.
What becomes evident is that exercising or giving up fathers' rights takes proper planning and execution to be valid.