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What happens when I file a Notice of Intent to Claim Paternity?

Our last post here on our Dallas family law blog introduced the topic of our state's paternity registry. Unmarried fathers interested in protecting their parental rights should avail themselves of the registry by completing a Notice of Intent to Claim Paternity, available on the agency's website at the link below. But some may wonder what is required to complete the form, and what happens next?

The form itself is short, only one page of required information. There's a section for your name, birth date, Social Security and driver's license numbers, and your address. This is mandatory information. There's also a section for the same information from the mother, although this only needs to be completed to the best of your ability. You may not know the mother's Social Security number, for example, or driver's license number; you can still complete the form using what information you do have.

You'll also need to provide basic information about the child. This includes:

  • Name
  • Date of birth or expected date of birth
  • Sex
  • Place of birth (hospital name, city, county and state)

You then sign the form under penalty of perjury and submit it according to the instructions provided.

Afterwards, a copy will be provided to the mother named on the form. The information may be used in any courtroom proceedings. If you want to withdraw your notice, perhaps because you learn that you are not the father or a court rules that another man is, you may do so in writing.

Although not the same as establishing legal paternity, the form is an important step for unmarried fathers with concerns about their parental rights. A family law professional can also help address these concerns and protect your rights.

Source: Texas Department of State Health Services, "Notice of Intent to Claim Paternity," accessed on June 28, 2015

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