Paternity becomes a major issue in a case where the minor child was born out of wedlock. In many cases, such paternity disputes can become a major challenge for the custodial parent to establish a case for child support. Additionally, many Texas children below the age of 18 get into relationships that end in pregnancies.
In some cases, the mother might not even be in the relationship when the child is born. Additionally, in most cases, children under age 18 years are not financially independent enough to take on the responsibilities of a single parent, and have no sense of how much money it actually costs to raise a child to adulthood.
However, there are a lot of benefits that the custodial mother and the minor child can obtain if paternity can be established. Establishing paternity is often considered the first legal step toward building a legal connection and an emotional relationship between the noncustodial father and his biological child.
This legal right can also enable the child and the mother to obtain the child support payments that are owed to the child. Establishing paternity also allows the child and the custodial parent to claim child support payments from the biological parent’s Social Security as well as any federal benefits, including employment checks and wages.
In many cases, the custodial mother initiates a paternity lawsuit against the minor father. However, with the advocacy for fathers’ rights gaining momentum, many minor fathers are now consulting with attorneys to establish their paternity in order to have a legal right over their biological child. Such legal rights can affect child custody issues as well as any decisions relating to the medical and educational well-being of the minor child.
Source: TexasAttorneyGeneral.gov, “Handbook for noncustodial parents,” Accessed on June 25, 2015