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Must a mother acknowledge a father for him to share custody?

On Behalf of | Jan 4, 2024 | Child Custody |

Married men have better protection under the law in some cases than unmarried men, especially when it comes to parental rights. A man married to the mother of his children benefits from a legal presumption of paternity. The hospital usually includes his name on the birth certificate by default. 

Unmarried fathers have to establish paternity to add their names to the birth certificates of their children. Doing so often requires filling out paperwork with the mother of the child. The parents can cooperate to include his name on the birth certificate at the hospital after the birth or any time while the child is still a minor. 

Sadly, the mother may not agree to sign those documents. Can a man in Texas establish paternity without the cooperation of the mother? 

The state can order paternity testing

The fastest and easiest way to establish paternity involves cooperating with the mother. However, that is not an option for every man who wants a relationship with his child. 

Men dealing with uncooperative mothers can go to the Texas family courts to ask for help. The courts can order genetic paternity testing that can help establish conclusively that the man is the likely biological father of the child. The mother will need to present the child for testing regardless of whether or not she wishes to acknowledge the man as the father. 

There are many different ways for unmarried fathers to establish paternity that can work in all kinds of different circumstances. Taking the time to establish paternity may help a man protect his right to have a relationship with his child by requesting shared custody.