Board-Certified Family Law Attorney Explains Your Parental Rights in Texas

Protecting parents’ rights for more than 30 years

Kevin Henderson Attorney at Law provides quality legal services for families in Williamson County, Round Rock, Austin, Temple and Bastrop. My professional staff and I advise you in family law matters and deliver reliable results. I use negotiation techniques to try to reach a quick resolution and avoid trial if possible, but I am not afraid to take your case to trial if needed to secure a fair outcome for you. With 8 years’ experience as a judge, I am as comfortable in the courtroom as I am in my office.

What are a parent’s rights in Texas?

Texas law specifically lists the following as individual parental rights and duties at all times, even for non-custodial parents who only have child visitation rights:

  • The right to receive information from the other parent concerning the health, education and welfare of the child
  • The right to confer with the other parent to the extent possible before making a decision concerning the health, education and welfare of the child
  • The right of access to medical, dental, psychological and educational records of the child
  • The right to consult with a physician, dentist or psychologist of the child
  • The right to consult with school officials concerning the child’s welfare and educational status, including school activities
  • The right to attend school activities
  • The right to be designated on the child’s records as a person to be notified in case of an emergency
  • The right to consent to medical, dental and surgical treatment during an emergency involving an immediate danger to the health and safety of the child
  • The right to manage the estate of the child to the extent the estate has been created by the parent or the parent’s family
  • The right to be informed of significant information concerning the health, education and welfare of the child in a timely manner by the other parent
  • The right to be informed by the other parent if he or she resides with for at least 30 days, marries, or intends to marry a person who is registered or is currently charged with an offense for which on conviction the person would be required to register as a sex offender under Texas Code of Criminal Procedure, Chapter 62

Whose job is it to raise the kids?

In Texas, both parents bear the responsibility of taking care of and providing for their children, regardless of whether the parents are married, divorced or never married. The responsibility for ensuring your child’s well-being does not end with a determination of child custody. Parental responsibilities to children include providing:

  • Adequate housing
  • Adequate food and water
  • Appropriate clothing
  • Educational opportunities
  • Necessary medical and dental care

What if paternity is questionable?

The word “paternity” denotes the identity of a child’s father. Except in rare circumstances, when a woman gives birth to a child, she is considered to be the legal mother of that child. Obviously, every child also has a biological father. But, unless the mother is married, there is no legal presumption as to the father’s identity.

As a child’s father who never married the mother of your child, Texas does not grant you any rights to child visitation or parental responsibilities unless legal paternity is established.

Paternity in Texas can be established one of two ways:

  • Both parents can sign a legal document to establish the paternity of the child. This document is called an Acknowledgment of Paternity.
  • Paternity can be determined through court proceedings.

Once paternity is determined, the father obtains all the same rights as the other parent.

What is the putative father registry?

Texas has a putative father registry, which is a database maintained by the state of Texas listing men who consider themselves possible biological fathers to one or more children with an unmarried woman. Men who believe they are fathers and want to claim paternity of a child must do so by registering with the putative father registry. The putative father registry has time restrictions, so contact a knowledgeable Georgetown, Texas family law attorney to protect your rights without delay.

Call a board-certified Georgetown, TX attorney for a free consultation

If you have concerns regarding paternity, contact a skilled family law attorney to discuss your options. I am experienced and qualified to handle all of your family law issues. My staff and I offer reliable legal services to Williamson County, Round Rock, Austin, Temple and Bastrop. Contact Kevin Henderson Attorney at Law today for your consultation.

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