Families in Texas do not look like they used to in the past. In the past, families often had one mother, one father and several children. Today however, it is not unusual for families to be headed by single parents. It’s also not unusual for there to be some questions about who the child’s legal father is.

While it is often easy to tell who child’s biological mother is, the father can be more difficult. This is particularly true when the child’s parents are unmarried at the time of the child’s birth. A paternity action may be necessary in these situations to determine the legal father. It is important to determine the identity of the child’s father in order to ensure that the child receives the financial support the child needs.

One way to avoid a paternity dispute is for a father to sign an Acknowledgment of Paternity. According to the Texas Attorney General, an AOP is a legal document that recognizes a father as being legally responsible for a child. This document becomes legally binding when signed by both the child’s father and mother. They are often available at the hospital when the child is born. It then needs to be registered with the state.

With this document, a child can receive financial support from the father. This includes child support, military benefits, healthcare and more. An AOP also opens the door for an unmarried father to receive some custody over the child. By being an active part of the child’s life, the man can provide the emotional support that a child needs.

There are many reasons why parents in Texas could want to avoid a paternity dispute. In many cases an AOP can avoid these complicated legal situations. By signing these documents however, a man takes on a great responsibility. Unmarried fathers need to be aware of their fathers’ rights in the situations. An attorney can help to explain these further.