My child was in my life at one point. The mother took her and left. I have had no contact with her for a couple years. Let me rephrase that. I have tried to make contact with the mother week after week, month after month and she refuses to respond to me. I am tired of this. I want to be a part of my child's life. We were never married. No paternity established. We both knew and know she is my child. The mother is just trying to control the situation. It's just how she is. I want paternity established, I want to see my child, love her and support her. What I don't need or want is an attorney to take my money just to try and make me feel better, making me think something can be done. Can I see my child ? Do I have rights because we were not married ? I want to make this happen but need help.
Criminal Defense Attorney
You can establish paternity. Hire an attorney. The attorney will be able to file suit on your behalf and get an order establishing conservatorship, visitation, access and support for the child. You do have rights.
The information provided is not advice but a legal perspective and you should schedule a consultation with the lawyer of your choice.
The family law courts encourages parents to be involved in the life of the child. You absolutely have rights to be a part of your child's life. Yes, a lawyer can help you get that. Some preparation on your part is also necessary. For example, make sure you have a residence that can accommodate your daughter. A separate bedroom, toys, daily necessities, day care, and a plan to welcome your child into your life will all go a long way to convince the court that you are really serious about having your child in your life. Stop being passive and taking the "woe me" attitude. You need to be proactive.
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I agree with the previous responses and would counsel you that you should hire an attorney in the county where the child lives.
I'm not going to get any points for answering this question but here goes.
The Texas Family Code was revised years ago to make the laws of Texas gender neutral. It has actually hurt women. I am personally aware of a case in Harris County where a father got 50% custody of a child less than 30 days old! He proved that he was able to take care of a small baby since he'd had 2 other children from other women.
You need to hire a tough, smart attorney to represent you. There are plenty of those in the Houston area. This is the best website that I know of that is free for people to find attorneys. So look around and find one. Don't hire a newly licensed attorney. Find one that has courtroom experience and does at least 65% family law. You don't need a board-certified attorney. Plan on a fight. The fact that you have waited a couple of years is not good -- the judge will want to know where you have been - you will need to be able to answer that question with a decent answer. Plan on a DNA test to prove you are the bio dad. Plan on spending a bunch of money to win this battle. If you start the fight, plan on finishing it - if not she will be "enabled" and make your life miserable. Once you start this "battle" don't plan on stopping it -- plan on going the distance -- plan on her coming out swinging with all sorts of allegations of what a bad man you are & your family is -- the Harris County judges are used to hearing this -- she will have to prove these allegations.
If you want a referral, you can call me & I'll give you some names - 713-847-6000 or email@example.com
Fran Brochstein has over 20 years legal experience & enjoys educating the public about Texas laws. She is a full-time family law mediator in the Houston area. If you found this answer "helpful" or "best answer", please select the button to show your appreciation. Please understand that this is not a personal consultation and in no way creates an attorney-client relationship. You are strongly encouraged to consult with an attorney in your county in person about your specific legal problem. You can contact her at 713-805-9591 - 7 days a week - her personal cell phone.
Criminal Defense Attorney
I regret you have gone years thinking you had no ability to act. You do, and you should. No smoke, just fact. You will also need to be able to articulate what has kept you from acting to date. Again, no smoke, just fact. The court will want to know.
Use the find a lawyer feature here. Interview with more than one counsel. And good luck to you. I'm a big fan of fathers who will step up.