Probably the most commonly encountered stereotype that clients have when
it comes to the family courts in Texas is that fathers stand no chance
primary custody of their child in a
child custody case. Although this may have been the case in the past, this is simply
no longer true.
Studies have shown that children who have continuous and long-lasting contact
fathers do better in school, adjust more readily to changes in social situations
and have fewer disciplinary issues both at home and at school. As a result,
it is much more possible for a father to win primary custody in a contested
family law case in Texas.
What does primary custody mean?
I used the phrase “primary custody” in the opening to this
blog post when I was describing how a father may be able to be successful
in a custody case. Custody as it’s generally used is not a big part of
Texas family law.
Conservatorship is, however.
Conservatorship covers the rights and duties a parent has in relation to
their children. Custody is a more general term that is applied to cover
concepts including rights and duties but also
visitation. The “primary” conservator is the parent who has the right
to establish the primary residence of the child. In other words, the primary
conservator gets to have the child life with him or her.
Father’s rights in a divorce case
As society and our legal system more specifically has evolved in the way
that we think about father’s rights, if you are a dad reading this
blog post you can feel much better about your ability to walk into a Texas
family law courtroom and have a fair chance to convince a judge that you
should be named the primary conservator of your child.
For starters, it is not assumed any longer that just because one party
to a case is the mother, she is more effective or capable of raising a
child than the father. Simply starting out on equal footing with the opposing
party is a huge step up that fathers in Texas have seen in recent years.
Factors that a
family law court may consider in determining which party is better suited to be the primary
conservator of a child are the stability of each parent’s home environment,
the income of each parent, the plan that each parent has as far as raising
the child when he or she is in their individual care as well as the frequency
with which the parent seeking primary conservatorship will be home with
How a father can better his chances at winning primary custody in a divorce case
divorce attorneys with the Law Office of Bryan Fagan have successfully represented fathers
across southeast Texas who have been able to win primary custody of their
child. While there is no sure fire way to win in this area there are ways
to set yourself apart from many parents right from the beginning of your case.
For starters, you need to actually be a good dad. Quality time with your
child is crucial as absentee fathers will simply feed into the old and
untrue stereotype that fathers are not as involved in the lives of their
children as mothers are. So, being able to show a judge that you are involved
in your child’s school, social and extracurricular activities is
a good place to start.
Do you know the names of your child’s doctors and do you take him
or her to those appointments? If you do- that’s great. If you don’t,
your odds of being named a primary conservator start to diminish.
Think about your child’s life based on your own experiences growing
up. Whether you had a father in your life who was active and involved,
all the things that were important to you as a kid are most likely important
to your child.
The odds are good that if you are interested in having your son or daughter
come live with you then you are already involved in their day to day life.
Not only will this have helped strengthen your relationship with your
kids but it will help you when it comes time to talk to a judge in your
Keep the faith and you may be able to keep your child
Many fathers begin their divorce by assuming that they have no shot to
win primary conservatorship. The result of that belief is that they forfeit
even the opportunity to present their arguments to a judge.
In general, men suffer from a few things that women seem to confront on
a much more infrequent basis. First and foremost, many men will simply
fail to respond to a legal summons which results in them losing their
right to assert whatever rights and arguments they have to a court. In
addition, it happens more frequently that you may think that once a father
responds to the lawsuit that they agree to the requests of their wife
just to stop the litigation process.
In doing so they again forfeit their right to make an argument to the judge
or make reasonable demands themselves. The bottom line is this: you as
a father need to be accountable to both your child and the court.
By responding to a lawsuit for divorce in a timely fashion, learning the
“rules” of family law court and understanding what your own
goals are you stand a good chance to be awarded more time with your child
than you might otherwise think.
Divorce is tough, finding strong advocates does not have to be
If you find yourself in a position where your spouse has filed for divorce
against you please consider the
Law Office of Bryan Fagan in your search for legal representation. Our years of experience representing
families across southeast Texas has shown us that communication and trust
are the most important characteristics of a solid attorney-client relationship.
If you want to know more about what you can do,
CLICK the button below to get your
“16 Steps to Help You Plan & Prepare for Your Texas Divorce”
Other Articles you may be interested on regarding retirement accounts
- Child Custody Basics in Texas
- When Can a Minor Child Weigh in on Custody Decisions in Texas?
- Texas Child Custody Modifications
- Amicus Attorneys in Child Custody Disputes in Texas?
- Sole Managing Conservator in a Child Custody Case in Texas?
- Teens with Children, Child Custody and Child Support in Texas
- Child Custody and Divorce in Spring, TX
- Custody and Visitation Rights of Grandparents in Texas
- 11 Things You Must Know About Texas Child Custody
- 12 Texas Custody & Conservatorship Battle Tips
Law Office of Bryan Fagan | Kingwood Divorce Lawyer
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 ar
Kingwood, TX Divorce Lawyer right away to protect your rights.
divorce lawyer in Kingwood TX is 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,
Houston, the FM 1960 area, or surrounding areas, including
Fort Bend County and