Fathers' Rights

One out of every three children born in Texas involve parents who are not married. A child born in Texas to a man and woman who are not married has no legal father. This means that the father has NO legal rights to the child. There are two ways that a father can establish his rights to his child. The first is for the parents to file an Acknowledgment of Paternity (AOP) with the Texas Bureau of Vital Statistics. The second is to file a Suit to Establish Paternity with the Courts.

Acknowledgment of Paternity (AOP)

If the father is at the hospital at the time the child is born, the hospital will require both parents to sign an AOP before they will allow the father’s name to be listed on the birth certificate.  The hospital is required to file the AOP with the Texas Bureau of Vital Statistics.  This document establishes that the man listed on AOP is the legal father of the child, but does not grant the father any special access to the child, nor does it establish any child support for the mother.

Suit to Establish Paternity

A man who has not filed an AOP can file a paternity lawsuit which requests the Court to establish that he is in fact the father of the child. The Courts will usually require a DNA test to prove the man is the biological father. After the DNA test shows that the man is the biological father, the man may then request the following:

1. Access to your Child
2. A Court Ordered Visitation and Possession schedule with your child or Request Primary Custody.
3. An amendment to the birth certificate to change the child’s last name to the father’s last name.
4. Joint and Shared Managing Conservatorship rights to the child. Access to Educational and School Records, Access to Medical Records, Doctors, Psychologists.  The Right to direct the moral and religious training of the child, and more.

Truth and Challenges

Lewisville Child Support Attorney

Unmarried fathers have an uphill fight to gain access to their children. Our office is often asked about access to the children and asked to help establish a father’s rights. It is not uncommon for the mother to refuse to allow access to the child after the parents have separated. Even if the parents have been together for a long period of time, the father does NOT automatically have any right to possession of the children. The police will NOT help you get visitation or possession of your children. The Texas Attorney General’s office is only interested in getting the father to pay child support, and will NOT enforce the father’s access or visitation with the children. Fathers can only gain access to their children after paternity has been established.  The ONLY route for a father to insure continuing access and possession to the child is through the Courts. Len Conner and Associates routinely files paternity suits to establish a father’s rights, access, and visitation with his children. You CAN win primary custody of your child. We can help! Call us NOW to explain how!

Court Ordered Visitation and Possession

As a father, you have the absolute right under Texas Law to either Standard Visitation or Expanded Standard Visitation. You also have the right to request Primary Custody of your child. But, visitation, possession, and custody only come after you have applied for a Court Order. Call us to explain how we can help you insure ALL of your rights as a father and help you get Court Ordered Possession of your child.

For a confidential consultation to discuss your legal matter with an experienced Texas Family Law and Divorce Lawyer, please call us at (972) 445-1500  if you’re in the Dallas / Fort Worth Area. Call us toll free at 1 (877) 613-5800.

Do Not Wait to Establish Your Rights

Whether you are a father or you are about to be a father you have certain legal rights and obligations towards your child. However, waiting to establish these rights will only make it more difficult to gain access to the children. The sooner you act, the easier it is for the Court to issue a Court Order insuring your time with the children. If you delay, the Texas Attorney General’s office will likely file a lawsuit against you and request up to FOUR YEARS of retroactive or back child support with minimal visitation.

Call us Today! (972) 445-1500

Contact and Experienced Dallas Family Attorney

If you’re interested in meeting with us regarding your impending paternity or child custody case please call us at (972) 445-1500  if you’re in the Dallas / Fort Worth Area. Call us toll free at 1 (877) 613-5800 to schedule a free and private consultation.


The Law Office of Len Conner Serves the Cities of:

Irving, Dallas, Cedar Hill, Mesquite, Garland,
Grand Prairie, Los Colinas, Richardson, Plano, Highland Park,
Arlington, Hurst, Euless, Bedford, Southlake, Grapevine,
Colleyville, Lewisville, Denton, The Colony, Coppell,
Flower Mound, Corinth, Argyle, Fort Worth, Frisco,
Sachse, McKinney, Park Cities, Duncanville, Desoto,
& Dallas County, Tarrant County, Denton County, Collin County

We hope the information provided here is helpful. Please call our office with any questions you may have. Unless otherwise indicated, attorney listed in this site are not certified by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. This web site is designed for general information only. The information at this site should not be construed to be formal legal advice nor the formation of a lawyer/client relationship.

Admitted to the US Federal Courts, Northern District of TX

Member of the Texas Family Law Section of the Texas State Bar Association

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Len Conner & Associates

600 John Carpenter Freeway,
Ste 238
Irving, Texas 75062


Phone: 972-445-1500

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