The Father’s Rights Attorney Houston Dads Trust.
Many fathers fall under the common misconception that the child’s mother will get favorable treatment when it comes to fighting for custody in Texas.
Fortunately, that is not the case. Courts in Houston and across the state of Texas all make decisions based on the best interests of the child.
Women have long been presumed to be the best caregivers, and it was once very difficult for men to seek custody of their children. In Texas, the laws have changed, and the court is now required to make decisions free from gender bias. Despite the progression in the last few decades, it can still be difficult for fathers to gain their full rights because they often are not the primary caregiver of their children. When it comes to child custody arrangements, fathers often have to fight to prove that they are willing to take care of their children.
If you are a father concerned over custody or visitation rights, seeking representation from a father’s rights lawyer should be your first step. They are experienced in handling legal issues surrounding divorce proceedings, custody battles, and child support.
Contact Skillern Firm to Protect your Father’s Rights
At Skillern Firm, our team of skilled Houston father’s rights lawyers has years of experience in dealing with cases just like yours. Whether you are the biological father or not, we will fight on your behalf so that your parental rights are protected.
Our main goal is to seek the best possible outcome for your child, and often, that means fighting to give the child access to both parents wherever possible.
What Are Fathers’ Rights in Houston, TX?
Everyone is equal in the eyes of the law. However, statistically, women are more likely to be stay-at-home parents. Mothers on average spend more time with their children and are therefore more likely to make daily decisions on their behalf. This can make it difficult for fathers to attain child custody or even fair visitation rights. You may need to prove that your father-child relationship is strong and that you are responsible.
It is important that fathers maintain their rights to have regular contact with their children, and also keep the ability to make important decisions on things such as the child’s education and medical care. A father’s rights lawyer will understand how to protect your rights and will help you find an arrangement that works. Child custody orders are legally binding, so it is essential that you fight for your rights from the outset.
What Responsibilities Do Fathers Have?
In addition to parental rights, fathers also have a responsibility to contribute financially and emotionally to the upbringing of their children. If you are the high-earning spouse, then unless you are the primary conservator of the child, you will likely have to pay child support. The court prefers to keep both parents in the children’s lives, and there may be a minimum amount of time that you are expected to spend with your children under joint managing conservatorship, which is the child custody arrangement most parents follow. The only time that sole managing conservatorship is awarded is if one parent is a danger to the child’s wellbeing, such as in instances of domestic abuse or substance misuse.
Who is The Legal Father?
In Texas, it is especially difficult for an unmarried father to gain rights to their children, and you may need to prove that you are in fact the biological father. In accordance with the Texas Family Code, when a child is born, the mother’s husband is the presumed father, and their name is added to the birth certificate. If you were not married to the child’s mother, then you will need to fight to become the acknowledged father through other means.
If both the mother and father agree on who the father is, then they can have his name added to the birth certificate. However, if there is any disagreement you may have to file for adjudication with the court, or formally adopt the child. Unless your name is on the birth certificate, you will not usually have father’s rights and will therefore not be named in a child custody arrangement. A Houston father’s rights lawyer can help you navigate the laws surrounding your case, which will be especially important for unmarried fathers.
Best Interests of the Child in Child Custody Decisions
Every Judge involved in family law in Texas is trained to make decisions that are in the child’s best interest.
This means they must make rulings based on what is best for any children involved. It does not matter if you are the legal father demanding child custody or the legal mother, the decision will not be made on a gender bias. The ruling may go against either parent and will be dependent upon several factors.
To determine what the child’s best interest is, the Judge will consider:
Potential Danger to Child from Either Parent
In Houston, Texas, the court will look at whether or not either parent should be restricted due to a history of issues including but not limited to, physical violence and/or drug abuse. It is extremely important each parent works closely with their lawyers to present strong and accurate facts regarding these accusations if they arise.
To prove that your ex may be a danger to your child’s safety and well-being, evidence such as texts, emails, police reports, and/or diary entries may prove crucial in obtaining child custody.
The Parents’ Stability
Another crucial factor the Judge will look at is each parent’s stability. Each parent will be evaluated on their potential to provide a steady income, provide adequate childcare, provide a safe and stable home, and how steady their past has been in regards to these areas.
How Involved Each Parent is With their Child
In family court in Texas, the Judge is not allowed to use the parent’s gender as a reason for any decisions. Judges will, however, look at how much involvement each parent has had so far in the children’s life.
If, as a parent, you have been the one to take your child to their doctor’s appointments, parent evenings, school plays, etc., this may give you a slight advantage. If you took an equal share in attending these events, you may be encouraged to do so going forward.
The Emotional and Physical Needs of the Child
Depending upon the age of the child and what stage of development they are in, the court will look at each parent’s ability to address the current and future needs of the child. This could include the court’s opinion on whether or not the parent is willing to put the needs of the child before their own, as well as their ability to adapt to the child’s changing needs.
It’s a scientific fact that children develop better when both mother and father are part of their lives. For this reason, the court makes an effort to keep both parents involved. If either parent is seen to be attempting to influence the child against the other parent, this is a major warning flag and could possibly be a sign of parental alienation.
Parental alienation can be restricting time spent with the other parent or in more serious instances, rewarding the child for negativity towards the other parent. A Judge will be very concerned if they learn this has been happening.
Family Proximity and Closeness
If the child has been brought up in a close-knit family group, the court may attempt to keep the child close to that support network. This is one of the reasons why divorces involving long-distance relocation can be so complicated.
If you are relocating to a different state or country, you will need to work with your attorney and the Judge to consider what is in the best interest of your child.
The Child’s Preference
When the children in question are over the age of 12, the court may consider their preferences in which parent they would prefer to stay with.
This does not necessarily mean that the Judge will do exactly what the child wants. However, judges take into consideration the child’s feelings while also evaluating what is in the best interest of the child.
Different Child Custody Arrangements
In Texas, there are two primary types of child custody arrangements.
- Sole Managing Conservatorship.
- Joint Managing Conservatorship.
Sole custody means that one parent has the right to make all important decisions in a child’s life. This is usually only awarded if the other parent has issues that negatively impact the child such as instances of domestic abuse or substance misuse. If you believe that you should have sole custody, or if the other parent is fighting for sole custody unfairly, then you should speak to a father’s rights lawyer as soon as possible. They will get straight to work defending and protecting your rights to your children.
Joint managing conservatorship means parents share rights and responsibilities. Children usually fair better when both parents remain in their lives, and so this is the most common arrangement. It can take many forms, and one parent may still retain the right to decide primary residence, while the other may be given visitation rights. It is helpful to have an attorney who can help make sure that a joint custody arrangement splits time and responsibilities fairly.
We are Experienced in Mediation and Negotiation
Where possible, it is better to come to amicable agreements with minimum court involvement. This saves time and protects children from drawn-out court proceedings. At Skillern Firm, our Houston father’s rights attorneys are highly skilled in mediation and will help you and your ex-partner communicate without allowing emotions to take over. We will listen to everyone’s needs while ensuring your rights are protected. We always prioritize the needs of children, while fighting for our clients. We are equally skilled in litigation, so if your case does go to court, we will be prepared to stand by you.
Hire a Father’s Rights Attorney Houston Dads Recommend Today!
When you agree to seek legal advice and representation from a father’s rights lawyer from Skillern Firm, you are agreeing to representation from a team with a wealth of experience and skill.
We value our attorney-client relationship and will fight to preserve the legal rights of any father who wants to see their children. Our team has years of experience in helping our clients, other fathers like you, to avoid parental alienation.
A skilled Houston fathers’ rights attorney can be the best shot at securing a result that you are happy with. We want to protect the father-child relationship wherever possible and believe that both the father’s rights and the mother’s rights are equally important when it comes to their children.
Our goal is to help you and your children transition into your new life, and with as little displacement as possible so contact us or give us a call today at 936-213-8479 to speak to an experienced family law attorney.