When spouses who have children decide to divorce, the subject of child custody can become very complicated. Many have certain assumptions about who should get custody of children; however, both parents are equally considered in Texas. Divorce lawyers know that fathers are equally entitled to custody and have certain parental rights.
The goal in all child custody cases is to place the child in the home that the court feels will provide the most stable environment for the child, whether this is with the mother or with the father.
A Father Remains A Father After Divorce
When couples choose to divorce, they are still the legal parents of any children born to them. This means fathers remain one half of the parenting equation and retain all rights that fathers have as decision makers, caregivers, and providers for their children.
Divorce lawyers stress that unless a court specifically removes these rights for a specific reason, fathers are entitled to the same rights as mothers. These rights include visitation, decision-making, providing for their child, and the ability to continue a parental relationship with their child regardless of which parent has primary custody.
Fathers Can Seek Primary Custody
In the state of Texas, the family court assumes that both parents are responsible people who only wish the best for their child. The court prefers to award joint custody whenever possible in the hopes that parents working with experienced divorce lawyers will find ways to raise their child together even when divorced.
When it is in child’s best interest, primary custody may also be awarded to just one parent, either the mother or the father. It is no longer assumed that the mother will automatically obtain primary custody nor that fathers cannot ask for primary custody.
If joint custody is not an option, the court will consider which parent has been the primary caregiver and handled more of the child’s needs as well as how that parent has performed in the role. As a result, more fathers than ever are gaining primary custody when demonstrate that they have likewise performed as the primary caregiver.
Maintaining Father’s Rights After Divorce
Regardless of whether a father is awarded full or partial custody, it is important that all dads recognize their rights as fathers and take steps to maintain them. It is the job of divorce lawyers and the family court to help determine the most equitable custody arrangements that take into account the rights of both parents. Once custody awards are made, both fathers and mothers must abide by such guidelines to ensure all parental rights are upheld.
If at any time a father finds himself being restricted in terms of the custody agreement, he should talk to experienced divorce lawyers who can help. In the most favorable situations, mothers and fathers accept each other’s rights as parents and work together to continue raising their children outside of their terminated marriage.
Divorce lawyers know that even when marriages fail, parenthood is still a wonderful thing. Today’s fathers have the same rights as mothers with regard to parental roles; these rights do not disappear when a divorce is granted. Fathers also retain the right to seek primary custody when they have been the primary caretaker. The Texas family court decides custody based on what is in a child’s best interest and which parent, including fathers, can provide the best future care for the child.
Garza & Elizondo, LLP
680 East St. Charles St, Suite 600
Brownsville TX 78520
1393 East Alton Floor Blvd, Suite 12
Brownsville TX 78526