Father's Custody Rights in Houston
Do Fathers Get Custody in Houston?
Attorney Robert Reid McInvale of Houston utilizes his experience in child custody law to provide you with the following article on the custody rights of fathers. His goal is to help dispel the myths surrounding child custody outcomes and father’s rights.
According to several sections of the Texas Family Code, the primary consideration of the court in determining issues of physical and legal custody of children, and access to a child, will always primarily be the best interests of the child. The court will also consider the qualifications of the parties requesting custody of a child regardless of the sex of either the parent making the request or of the child in question. Therefore, the myth that the law favors the mother in matters of child custody is dispelled in a very real, legal sense, at least in the state of Texas.
That said, it cannot be denied that mothers are more often awarded primary physical custody of their children. There remains a presumption that the bond between a mother and child is somehow more “sacred” than that between fathers and their children. However, statistics show that children who grow up without a father present in their lives are more likely to underperform in school, engage in criminal activity, and abuse alcohol or other narcotic substances. Fathers play a substantive role in the upbringing of a child and, unless abuse or neglect factors exist, their bond should receive equal consideration when it comes to deciding custody of their children.
More fathers are winning custody of their children today than ever. Texas law favors awards of joint custody whenever possible, assuming both parents are proven to be equally responsible and invested in acting in the best interests of their child. However, should a mother be proven unfit, either due to evidence of physical abuse or neglect of their child, substance abuse, or other factors, a father may be awarded primary or even sole custody. Also, if the child is twelve (12) or older, he or she may submit a request in writing to the court expressing a desire to live with the father, which will be considered by the judge. If the father does win custody, he has the right to receive child support payments the same as a mother with primary physical or sole custody.
Texas law backs up any expectations of equal consideration and, if it is determined that the child’s best interests would be served by primarily residing with the father, then the court should so rule. An attorney well-versed in the law with regard to child custody in general, and father’s rights in particular, can tip the scales in your favor when custody is being determined. Get help and take heart, dads!
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