When a baby is born in Texas and the parents are not married, the law does not automatically recognize the biological father as the child’s legal father. That is where the term “paternity” comes into the matter, and luckily, the Texas Family Code provides the framework to establish it.
As the rate of marriage has decreased, childbearing and coupling have not. The unwed birthrate has dramatically increased in recent years, and by 2010 it was at 40.3%. Many parents who are living outside a marriage relationship may not share child-rearing responsibilities comparable to a married couple, therefore domestic courts are left to structure a parenting plan which may not have any familial precedence to look to for guidance, and in other cases the parenting plan may be created at the birth of the child leaving the creation of the parenting plan to the biases, whims, and judgments of the court without any evidence to support the parenting style of either parent.