Cinco Ranch, TX Father’s Rights Lawyer
In the past, certain states and certain family courts favored the mother when it came to making decisions regarding issues like child custody. For this reason, many fathers that come to us for help believe that they have already lost when it comes to fighting for custody of their children.
Thankfully, this is no longer the case. All courts and family law Judges in the state of Texas must now make their decisions based on what they believe to be in the best interest of the children, this is the cardinal rule. This means there is no longer any bias based upon the gender of the parent. Both mothers’ and fathers’ rights are equal, and both parents enter child custody proceedings on the same footing.
However, just because this is the new way that family law cases are handled doesn’t mean that there are no cases of biased decision making. This is why it is so important that you seek legal representation from a skilled Cinco Ranch, TX, Father’s rights lawyer, one who can ensure that your rights are protected throughout your entire case.
A skilled family law attorney can help you with your divorce and any family law matters, including advocating on your behalf in a child custody battle, fighting for fair spousal maintenance, and protecting you from unfair asset division in your divorce proceedings.
If you are currently considering divorce, have been served with papers, or have already divorced your spouse, but you need support with modifications or unfair orders, you should consider calling the team here at Skillern Firm right away.
Skillern Firm – Speak to us About Your Family Law Issues Today!
As a Greater Houston-based family law firm, our law offices cover Katy, TX, Sugar Land, TX, Houston, TX and Cinco Ranch, as well as all of Harris County.
Our team works hard to protect the rights, and the futures of our clients. Whether this means providing counsel and helping you negotiate divorce terms with your spouse or arranging for more formal mediation, we will work tirelessly to move your divorce along with as little court involvement as possible.
Coming to as many decisions as possible yourself, without the need for court involvement, will save you a lot of time and a lot of money, as each issue you cannot agree upon will require its own hearing.
Of course, in some cases, neither party will be willing to back down, and in these situations you can rest assured knowing that we are fierce litigators, and our attorneys are just as capable in the courtroom as they are at the negotiation table.
Our father’s rights lawyers can help with a range of legal issues, from proving or disputing paternity, immigration law, or adoption to becoming a legal father.
Whether you are the child’s father or the child’s mother, we are experienced on both sides of the discussion and ultimately, our main goal is always to work with clients so they can create an agreement that best suits everyone involved. This is the best way to reduce displacement in the child’s lives.
Contact our law firm today at 936-213-8479.
Father’s Child Custody Rights
The laws are the same across the entirety of Texas.
If you have been verified as the legal father, you are seen as equal to the mother in terms of your rights and this means there is no bias without investigation. The courts will look at each parent as an equal individual and judge them on a range of factors if they are both applying for custody of the children.
There may be some additional considerations if the parents were not married when the child was born, as there is a chance that the father has not established paternity. Fathers who were not married when the mother gave birth to the child must sign an Acknowledgement of Paternity (AOP). Both parents must sign this voluntarily, and if the mother refuses to do so the father may have to establish his paternity by legal means.
If you are fighting for paternity to be established, we highly recommend that you hire a skilled attorney for the legal proceedings. This will ensure that your rights are protected and that you have an advocate to educate and advise you through the process.
Once your rights have been established under Texas law, both the mother and the father have the right to:
- Make decisions involving the child’s continued education.
- Influence and attend recreational activities beyond the education system.
- Contribute to decisions concerning health, religion, and living arrangements.
Understanding What “In The Child’s Best Interests” Means
When entering divorce proceedings, it is likely that both parents have played a crucial role in the upbringing of their children. However, a family law court must make decisions based on what they believe to be the best interests of the children. This means they will need to make some decisions that may seem unfair, as both parents have put in the effort and time to be in their children’s lives.
This may mean that the parent who gains primary custody, i.e, where the child is going to live, may be the parent who spent the most time with the child, such as attending events and taking them to the doctors and the dentist if the court believes this to be in the best interest of the child.
They may also decide that the parent who works long hours but can provide a more stable home and financial security should become the primary custodian.
The decision is a complex one, and there will be a range of different factors that the Judge may look at and consider before they make any rulings.
In any custody battle, the Judge will examine each parent and their ability to meet certain criteria:
Danger to the Child
The most important factor that has the power to override all of the others, is if it can be proven that one parent poses any kind of danger to their child. This can include things such as a history or current use of drugs and alcohol abuse, as well as a history of violence, abuse or neglect or any criminal history.
Remember though, a criminal history and past drug/alcohol usage “may” not be held against you if you can provide evidence that you have changed and that your past is behind you. If you used drugs when you were 20, and you are now 28 and have been clean for 8 years, historical drug use should not be used against you in any decisions that are made for example.
If you either have a history of drug or alcohol use, a criminal record, or a history of abuse, you need to work closely with your attorney to present a compelling case that you have changed your ways.
If you want the court to know that your spouse poses a danger to your children, you will also have to work closely with an attorney so that you can put together a strong case, with supporting evidence that they do indeed pose a risk.
Previous Involvement in the Child’s Life
Your family law Judge will want to look at each parent and how involved they have been in the child’s life up until this point. This may include things like which parent goes to any weekly sports training and matches and which parent drops them off at school, picks them up, and attends school plays and parents evenings.
Something that is often a strong factor to consider, is the closeness to other family members. If the child lives in a city where many of their father’s relatives live, and they are close to these relatives, and the mother is planning to move out of that city, it may be important for the child to remain close to the family they are close with and spend time with.
This can also include closeness to groups like local church groups or other religions.
Actively Alienating the Other Parent
Many parents have been going through a rough patch for a long time before they decide to divorce, and the court may want to examine their behavior during this time. If one parent has been engaging in parental alienation, which is the purposeful manipulation of their children’s opinion towards the other parent, the courts will frown upon this.
The stability that each parent can provide is another crucial factor that the Judge will look at. A parent’s ability to maintain a job and pay their bills is important for the financial stability of the child.
If the Judge finds out that one parent has a lot of debt or has been shown to be foolish with money, they may not want the child to live at that parents house.
The Child’s Will
When a child reaches the age of 12 in the state of Texas, their opinion becomes a factor that family law Judges must take into account. If they make it clear they want to spend the majority of their time with one parent, the Judge may take it into account but they are not obligated to agree with the child.
What Our Lawyers Can Do for You
As a family law firm, we can help you through your divorce process. If you have decided to file first, we can help you get prepared. If you have been served divorce papers out of the blue, we can help you get everything ready to reduce any advantage your spouse may have for filing first.
Once the divorce begins, we will work as your advocates and help you come to arrangements that are in your best interests. We prioritize negotiation, and we will advocate on your behalf to come to agreements on important matters, such as property division and custody.
If this does not work, we can arrange third-party mediation, where you and your spouse will sit in different rooms and come to your arrangements via an intermediary. This is often important for child custody and property division.
One issue that is often the cause for the most conflict when it comes to the divorce process is child custody. This is one issue where both parties will be unlikely to back down, and this means it usually requires a hearing and court intervention, and we will be there to litigate on your behalf.
Termination of Parental Rights
The termination of parental rights in Texas is a process by which a parent voluntarily or involuntarily gives up their rights to their child. This process can be initiated by either the parent or the court, depending on the circumstances.
A parent may apply for termination of parental rights for a variety of reasons, including but not limited to abuse, neglect, abandonment, or long-term incarceration. In some cases, a parent may also choose to terminate their own parental rights in the event of a divorce, in order to allow the other parent to have sole legal and physical custody of the child.
Termination of parental rights can also be initiated by the court, typically in cases of severe abuse or neglect. In these cases, the court will consider the best interests of the child, and will make a determination as to whether termination of parental rights is appropriate. In some cases, a parent may also choose to terminate the parental rights of their spouse.
This may be done in order to protect the child from a dangerous or abusive environment, or to ensure that the other parent is not able to interfere with the child’s life. This is an incredibly serious decision, and should not be undertaken lightly.
Defense Against Unfounded Allegations
While it is uncommon, it is not unheard of for a party to accuse the other parent of domestic violence or abuse that did not actually happen during the proceedings in order to gain an advantage in the proceedings.
If you are facing accusations of domestic violence or abuse and your partner is applying for a protection order, you need to get in touch with a skilled attorney immediately. We can work with you to fight these claims and in the process, discredit your spouse in the eyes of the court for their false allegations.
Speak to an Experienced Family Law Attorney Today
Of the legal services we offer, divorce proceedings and child custody battles are often high conflict and can leave our clients with a lot of stress and anxiety. What should be a simple case can become complex relatively easily, and at this point people often wish they had secured the best representation from the start.
At Skillern Firm, our team of family law attorneys, three of whom are Board Certified in Family Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization, are ready to fight for your rights. We know that fathers love their children the same as mothers and we will not let anyone treat you unfairly, simply because you are the father. We will work tirelessly to win you a favorable outcome that allows you to move forward into the best future possible for you and your family.
We focus heavily on the attorney-client relationship here, taking time to listen to our clients and their stories and keeping you informed and educated at every step of the process so you never feel left in the dark.
Call Skillern Firm law office today at 936-213-8479 to discover first-hand exactly how we can help.