What rights does my daughter’s father have if he’s not the one on the birth certificate, we never married and he does not have a relationship with her?

Get Legal Help Today

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

What rights does my daughter’s father have if he’s not the one on the birth certificate, we never married and he does not have a relationship with her?

While I was pregnant with my first child, her father was in jail and I met someone else. He signed her birth certificate when she was a year old. He is also the father of my second child. Now her biological father is coming out of jail. Does he legally have any rights if my husband is the one taking care of her? If yes, can I make a case if he’s an addict and in and out of jail?

Asked on December 6, 2012 under Family Law, Texas

Answers:

B.H.F., Member, Texas State Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

As of right now, he doesn't have any specific rights.  If his name was on the birth certificate, he could assert that he was the "presumed father" of the child.  However, because his name is not on the birth certificate, he cannot assert that he is a presumed father and do the things that a father normally could -- like take a child in and out of daycare.  However, this does not mean that he is without options.  He can still file a paternity suit (called a Suit Affecting Parent-Child Relationship in Texas), assert that he is dad and request DNA testing to prove the paternity of the child.  If he files this suit and the court determines that he is the father of the child, the court would then enter custody orders.  At this point, you could request termination of his rights or restriction of his access to the child on the basis that he has provided no support to the child and it an addict.  The less contact he has with the child, the better it will be for this motion.  If he is out over a year and somehow knows that the child is his, but makes no attempts to contact or support the child, then he could be subject to a statutory basis for terminating his parental rights. 


IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

Get Legal Help Today

Find the right lawyer for your legal issue.

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption