In Texas, both the mother and the father of a child have equal rights when it comes to things like fighting for custody. There is a common misconception that mothers have a better chance of securing custody and support but this simply isn’t true. All Texas family law courts and Judges will make decisions based upon the best interests of the children involved as set out by the Texas Family Code.
This means they will look at each individual parent and their ability to provide for the child and meet their needs.
The Love Ducote Law Firm, PLLC – Fathers Right Lawyers in Texas
The divorce process can be difficult for those involved, whether you are the mother or the father. However, many fathers, whether they are the biological father or not, come to us worried that they will lose the right to see their kids simply because they are the father and often ask us what are my rights as a Father under Texas divorce laws.
Fortunately, in Texas, the law is clear, Judges now focus on the best rights of the children above all else. They understand that loving fathers have every right to fight for custody and deserve to be a part of their children’s lives if they want to be. This is because studies have shown that children that have access to both parents will usually stand a better chance at a healthy development.
This means that unless there are reasons to do otherwise, the Judge will usually prefer to create a joint custody arrangement. This means both parents have equal rights in Texas in terms of making decisions relating to important matters in the child’s life, such as the right to direct their moral and religious training.
It does not however, mean the time spent with each parent will be a 50/50 split. Visitation rights will usually be awarded to one parent, and they may have the right to see their child for one night in the week and on alternative weekends, for example.
You Have The Right to File For Divorce First
Even if you and your wife are no longer living together and have separated, until you are divorced, you will not have the legal right to visitation. This means she may attempt to stop you from seeing your children or minimize your contact with them.
This is pretty common, and you should know that your best option in this situation may be to initiate the divorce proceedings yourself.
A skilled father’s rights attorney will be able to apply for temporary orders that grant visitation rights that are enforceable by the court until your divorce proceedings are finished. This means that no matter how long your divorce process lasts, you will remain in your child’s life, and the child’s mother will have to abide by the visitation schedule in the court order.
The Child’s Father has Equal Say in Creating a Custody Agreement
Even if you and your spouse have decided to divorce on good terms and wish to work out custody arrangements by yourself, you should still seek the help of an attorney who can help ensure your rights are protected, and you are doing the right thing.
They can help you examine your arrangement and formalize the plan so that the Judge will approve it and incorporate it into your divorce decree.
If you and your spouse are on good terms, the two of you may be able to work out custody and visitation plans on your own. Your divorce attorney can formalize the plan to submit to the court. If the Judge agrees to it, the custody arrangement can be incorporated into your divorce decree.
It is extremely important that you involve an attorney in any custody planning because once finalized, custody arrangements become legally binding court orders. This means you will have to follow them to the letter. If you later realize that the agreement is not fair, you will have to fight for a modification, and these can be difficult to obtain and costly in terms of legal fees.
Your Involvement as a Parent Will Be Scrutinized
Because the Judges in Texas will always work to make decisions based upon the best interests of any children involved, they will look at the involvement of each parent in their child’s lives. Things that may play in your favor include active engagement, like taking your kids to school and helping with homework, taking them to sporting events, and encouraging them to start hobbies.
This can mean that if you were more involved than the mother in your child’s life, you may have a better chance of fighting for primary custody. It also means that if you were both involved equally, the mother will not have an advantage when it comes to custody rights. If the father wins sole custody in the child custody arrangements, or has physical possession and becomes the custodial parent, then they may also be entitled to child support payments also.
The Courts Will Not Look Down on Fathers Who Have to Work Long Hours to Provide for Their Family
While it can be in a father’s favor if they spend a lot of time with their children, going to events and helping them with school work and hobbies, the courts will never hold it against a father if he has had to work to provide for his children. As long as the father has a strong relationship with his children and provides a loving home, the fact that the mother spends more time with the child should not be an argument against him.
The Judge will look at your relationship with your children and will also look at how your relationship with the mother has affected them. If you come home from work and argue with your wife every night, the courts may consider you the problem.
Do Not Move Out of the Family Home During the Divorce
Often, as things build up before a divorce, one parent may move out of the house. Usually, this is the father who leaves the house and finds temporary accommodation.
While this may seem like a good idea, we recommend against this. If you have made the decision to leave your family home, you have essentially made the mother the primary custodian of the children. While this is not a legal designation, when it comes to the divorce process, the courts may decide to award primary custody to the mother because she has been the primary custodian whilst you have been living out of the family home.
What Can Complicate The Custody Agreement Process?
Texas courts, parents, and your family law attorney should all be working on an arrangement that is in the best interests of your children. As well as their best interests, things like parental rights and physical custody must be considered at all stages; this includes protecting your father’s rights.
During the custody battle, there will be a variety of factors that are considered before decisions on legal custody are made. Who gains primary custody and whether or not the other parent will have visitation rights will depend upon these factors.
When determining the best interests of the child or children, the court may take into account a variety of factors, such as the child’s age and maturity, the parent’s ability to provide a safe and stable home, and the parent’s mental and physical health. Additionally, the court may look at the child’s relationships with siblings, other family members, and members of the community. Legal issues such as paternity, interstate custody, and relocation can also be taken into consideration. To ensure the child’s best interests are met, the court may appoint a guardian ad litem to investigate the case and provide a recommendation.
Ultimately, the custody agreement process in Texas can be intricate, and it is important for parents to understand the various factors that can affect the outcome of a case.
Do I Need A Lawyer For My Child Custody Agreement?
The arrangements regarding child custody are often the most important parts of the divorce process for divorcing spouses. This means that discussions are often fuelled by emotion and stress, and this can lead to the breakdown of communication.
When it comes to fathers’ rights in Texas, having an experienced attorney on your side can be invaluable. At our firm, we understand the importance of fathers’ rights, and we strive to ensure that our clients receive the best possible representation.
We make sure that all relevant facts are presented in court and that each argument is thorough and well-supported. Our attorneys are prepared to handle complex cases and take the necessary steps to ensure that our clients’ rights are protected.
Contact us today at 832-471-6904.