Houston Fathers’ Rights Attorney
Fathers play an important role in the lives of their children, but men need to understand that parental rights are not automatic when parents of a child are unmarried at the time of birth. Men who were not married at the time of their children’s birth must establish paternity in order to be given any custody rights.
Some mothers may be cooperative with paternity tests, but others may prove to be difficult and refuse to do anything that helps a father exercise his rights. Men in such cases need to be sure that they are working with an experienced Houston family law attorney as soon as possible.
“At The Sparrow Law Firm, PLLC, we recognize that
each case is uniquely different.”
Did you need help gaining fathers’ rights or terminating the fathers’ rights of another? Do not wait to contact The Sparrow Law Firm, PLLC, today to discuss your case.
Our firm has helped scores of men all over the Houston area gain the parental rights they need to foster long and lasting relationships with their children. You can have us review your case and answer all of your legal questions when you call 281-973-0431 or contact our firm online to schedule a free consultation.
Fathers’ Rights In Texas
A man is presumed to be the father of a child under the Uniform Parentage Act in Texas Family Code § 160.204 if:
● he is married to the mother of the child and the child is born during the marriage;
● he is married to the mother of the child and the child is born before the 301st day after the date the marriage is terminated by death, annulment, declaration of invalidity, or divorce;
● he married the mother of the child before the birth of the child in apparent compliance with law, even if the attempted marriage is or could be declared invalid, and the child is born during the invalid marriage or before the 301st day after the date the marriage is terminated by death, annulment, declaration of invalidity, or divorce;
● he married the mother of the child after the birth of the child in apparent compliance with law, regardless of whether the marriage is or could be declared invalid, he voluntarily asserted his paternity of the child, and the assertion is in a record filed with the vital statistics unit; he is voluntarily named as the child’s father on the child’s birth certificate; or he promised in a record to support the child as his own; or
● during the first two years of the child’s life, he continuously resided in the household in which the child resided and he represented to others that the child was his own.
A presumption of paternity can only be rebutted by an adjudication under Subchapter G or the filing of a valid denial of paternity by a presumed father in conjunction with the filing by another person of a valid acknowledgment of paternity as provided by Section Texas Family Code § 160.305.
The following rights and duties are also provided under Texas Family Code § 151.001:
● the right to have physical possession, to direct the moral and religious training, and to designate the residence of the child;
● the duty of care, control, protection, and reasonable discipline of the child;
● the duty to support the child, including providing the child with clothing, food, shelter, medical and dental care, and education;
● the duty, except when a guardian of the child’s estate has been appointed, to manage the estate of the child, including the right as an agent of the child to act in relation to the child’s estate if the child’s action is required by a state, the United States, or a foreign government;
● except as provided by Texas Family Code § 264.0111, the right to the services and earnings of the child;
● the right to consent to the child’s marriage, enlistment in the armed forces of the United States, medical and dental care, and psychiatric, psychological, and surgical treatment;
● the right to represent the child in legal action and to make other decisions of substantial legal significance concerning the child;
● the right to receive and give receipt for payments for the support of the child and to hold or disburse funds for the benefit of the child;
● the right to inherit from and through the child;
● the right to make decisions concerning the child’s education; and
● any other right or duty existing between a parent and child by virtue of law.
When a father has established paternity, he could seek one of three kinds of conservatorship rights. A sole managing conservator relates to one parent having exclusive conservatorship rights, joint managing conservators involve both parents having equal legal authority to make decisions for the child, and a possessory conservator has visitation rights with the child but no authority to make decisions.
Termination Of The Parent-Child Relationship
Termination of parental rights can be involuntary or voluntary. A parent can voluntarily give up their rights to the child or a parent could seek to have the rights of another parent terminated.
Texas Family Code § 161.103(a) establishes that when it comes to voluntary termination of parental rights, an affidavit for voluntary relinquishment of parental rights must be signed after the birth of the child, but not before 48 hours after the birth of the child, by the parent, whether or not a minor, whose parental rights are to be relinquished; witnessed by two credible persons; and verified before a person authorized to take oaths. An affidavit must contain:
● the name, county of residence, and age of the parent whose parental rights are being relinquished;
● the name, age, and birth date of the child;
● the names and addresses of the guardians of the person and estate of the child, if any;
● a statement that the affiant is or is not presently obligated by court order to make payments for the support of the child;
● a full description and statement of value of all property owned or possessed by the child;
● an allegation that termination of the parent-child relationship is in the best interest of the child;
● one of the following, as applicable: the name and county of residence of the other parent; a statement that the parental rights of the other parent have been terminated by death or court order; or a statement that the child has no presumed father;
● a statement that the parent has been informed of parental rights and duties;
● a statement that the relinquishment is revocable, that the relinquishment is irrevocable, or that the relinquishment is irrevocable for a stated period of time;
● if the relinquishment is revocable, a statement in boldfaced type concerning the right of the parent signing the affidavit to revoke the relinquishment only if the revocation is made before the 11th day after the date the affidavit is executed;
● if the relinquishment is revocable, the name and address of a person to whom the revocation is to be delivered; and
● the designation of a prospective adoptive parent, the Department of Family and Protective Services, if the department has consented in writing to the designation, or a licensed child-placing agency to serve as managing conservator of the child and the address of the person or agency.
Multiple statutes in the Texas Family Code cover involuntary termination of parental rights, and these different scenarios include:
● Involuntary Termination Of Parent-child Relationship, Texas Family Code § 161.001
● Termination Of The Rights Of An Alleged Biological Father, Texas Family Code § 161.002
● Involuntary Termination: Inability To Care For Child, Texas Family Code § 161.003
● Termination Of Parental Rights After Denial Of Prior Petition To Terminate, Texas Family Code § 161.004
● Termination When Parent Is Petitioner, Texas Family Code § 161.005
● Termination After Abortion, Texas Family Code § 161.006
● Termination When Pregnancy Results From Criminal Act, Texas Family Code § 161.00
“We Fight For Meaningful Results To Protect Your Rights”
Ikaha M. Sparrow
Texas Fathers’ Rights Resources
Handbook For Noncustodial Parents – Texas Attorney General – View a handbook from the Texas Attorney General that offers the definition of a noncustodial parent, 10 things noncustodial parents should know about paternity and child support, and basics of child support services. You can also learn about how to establish paternity and going to court. There is also additional information about child support orders.
Texas TFRM – The Fathers’ Rights Movement – This website claims to be dedicated to ending the plight of noncustodial parents and enriching parent-child relationships. Find resources to help you understand your legal situation, how the family law process works in Texas and what you can do to begin fighting back. Also read about facts, opposition, and other groups and helpful links.
Contact A Fathers’ Rights Lawyer In Houston Today
If you are a father who is having difficulty exercising his parental rights in Texas, you should not try to handle everything on your own. You could waste considerable time and possibly set yourself back by trying to handle things without legal representation.
The Sparrow Law Firm, PLLC, helps men in Houston and many surrounding areas of the Harris County area. Our firm will be able to fully explore all of your legal options as soon as you call 281-973-0431 or contact us online to receive a free consultation.