A common question asked by Fathers who come to our office for a consultation is a variation on, "I have a friend/cousin/co-worker who told me that fathers can't get a fair outcome from a judge in a Texas divorce when it comes to their children. Is this true?" Fathers are afforded both rights and duties under the Texas Family Code. In Texas, a man can be a father to a child if he is:
-presumed to be the father
-legally determined to be the father
-adjudicated by a court to the the father
-has acknowledged paternity
-is an adoptive father
The most straightforward way for a man to be presumed to be a child's father is if he is married to the mother of the child and the child is born during the marriage. A father may also file a petition with a court that has jurisdiction over him and his presumed child in order for a judge to declare that he is the biological father. This can be accomplished through genetic screening or if both the father and mother sign a document known as an Acknowledgment of Paternity.
When a court legally determines that a man is the father of a child, the Texas Family Code gives that father rights and duties including the right to have physical possession of the child and to direct his or her moral and religious training. The duty to care for the child and a duty to support the child are among the other rights afforded. Both the mother and father have the above rights and duties unless a court order is in place that can create or modify the rights and duties afforded to a parent under the Family Code.
A divorce can lead to one parent attempting to restrict or deny possession or access to their child from the other parent. Fathers need to understand and be prepared to defend their rights so that their ability to parent and build a relationship with their child or children is not affected negatively when a divorce occurs. Our State encourages both parents to have ongoing contact with their children as long as the parent shows the ability and wherewithal to act in the child's best interests. While it is common for a court to give one parent the right to determine the primary residence of the child, Texas courts allow for parents to arrive at an agreement on their own regarding the nature of their care-arrangement with the child. Basically, the court that any parent walks into for a divorce matter would prefer that the parties work out a solution that best suits the child and themselves rather than to have the court make that determination.
Whether a father seeks to have their child live with them (custodial parent) or would like the child to live primarily with the mother (noncustodial parent), men in Texas are afforded rights and the State has a general policy to encourage that fathers build relationships with their child and have access to them.
In order to ensure that your rights as a father are safeguarded and advocated for, a family law attorney well versed in the law and in the judicial system can be your best ally. The attorneys at The Law Office of Bryan Fagan understand how difficult and trying a divorce can be when a child is involved and our office is well equipped to advocate and defend a father's rights in an effective, efficient manner.
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Other Articles you may be interested in:
- Terminating Parental Rights in Texas on the Absent Parent
- Voluntarily Relinquishing Your Parental Rights in Texas
- Mom Versus Dad Who Gets the rights? - Custodial Rights Vs. Non-Custodial Rights in Texas
- Husband Not the Father, what do I do in a Texas Divorce?
- I am not the biological father but I want to be - Paternity by Estoppel?
- Can my Texas Driver's License Be Suspended for Not paying Child Support?
- What do I do if I have overpaid child support in Texas?
- Child Custody Basics in Texas
Law Office of Bryan Fagan | Spring Divorce Lawyers
The Law Office of Bryan Fagan routinely handles matters that affect children and families. If you have questions regarding divorce, it's important to speak with one of our Spring, TX Divorce Lawyers right away to protect your rights.
Our divorce lawyers in Spring TX are skilled at listening to your goals during this trying process and developing a strategy to meet those goals. Contact Law Office of Bryan Fagan by calling (281) 810-9760 or submit your contact information in our online form. The Law Office of Bryan Fagan handles Divorce cases in Spring, Texas, Cypress, Spring, Klein, Humble, Kingwood, Tomball, The Woodlands, the FM 1960 area, or surrounding areas, including Harris County, Montgomery County, Liberty County, Chambers County, Galveston County, Brazoria County, Fort Bend County and Waller County.