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Navigating paternity as unmarried parents in Texas

On Behalf of | Sep 16, 2022 | Family Law

Many Texas millennials are rejecting traditional family dynamics, including forgoing marriage completely. While completely fine under normal circumstances, it becomes more difficult to navigate with the addition of children.

Establishing paternity as unmarried parents can help ease the process of raising kids outside of marriage. It can also become essential to establish paternal rights for the father.

Why you should establish paternity

There are many reasons that you should pursue a paternity test to establish the paternity of a child outside of marriage. While many states let unmarried fathers just sign the birth certificate to establish paternity, many financial institutions and insurance companies require more proof.

The health insurance company of the father may refuse to provide coverage unless biological paternity is proven. If biological paternity can’t be provided, they might require adoption paperwork.

Establishing paternity outside of DNA tests

Some states – such as New York – have Voluntary Acknowledgement of Parentage forms that the father can sign at the same time as the birth certificate. Some institutions might still request proof of biological paternity, but it can be another document to sort out issues in the future.

It can be hard for fathers who have established paternity or signed an acknowledgment form to undo, even if paternity comes into question. This is another reason to pursue a paternity test.

What if the father refuses to accept paternity?

If a father refuses to sign the paternity form or test for paternity, the mother can take legal action that would require the father to take the test. Should the results come back as positive, the mother would be able to pursue things such as child support.

Navigating parenthood as an unmarried couple can be complicated. However, they’re not impossible and as long as parents ensure they have done everything to take care of the child, it should go by without a hitch.