Is Texas a Mother or Father State?

Numerous factors, issues, and circumstances come into focus once a family law case is filed, bringing to light the complex dynamic of “state vs father” and other parental roles. Parents often worry about maintaining a relationship with their children and presenting a united front with their co-parent after the resolution of a family law case. These concerns gain added significance in heated disputes, especially evident in situations where parents argue over who will be named the primary conservator of the children. This “state vs father” scenario highlights the challenges fathers may face in proving their capability and right to primary conservatorship amidst broader legal and societal expectations.

A lot of the time, this subject comes down to who is in a better position to parent your children on a full-time basis. While we don’t always like to admit things like this, mothers and fathers tend to take on different roles in parenting and income Earning for the family. Historically, men have typically been the income earners for a family while women take on more roles as caretakers for the home and the children.

While it would be unfair to say that these designations are still true across the board, there is still a great amount of truth that parents share responsibilities in fairly well-defined ways. This implies that one parent often serves as the main income provider while the other primarily focuses on child care. Specific circumstances may differ to an extent, but overall in many households that I work with, one parent will focus more on raising the children than the other.

Redefining Family Law Roles

This doesn’t mean that certain families may not take on a hybrid role in each capacity. It does mean that you need to examine what your role in the parenting of your child has been and what that means for your family law case. Many parents, especially fathers, 10 believe that the family law process favors women over men. I would verify this perspective isn’t true before engaging in any costly and lengthy family law issue, given my firm stance.

The title of today’s blog post references The point that mothers and fathers try to find out about with some regularity before beginning a family law case. Who has the advantage when it comes to custody issues: mothers your fathers? Although the answer may not always be straightforward, there are signs in your own life to identify your potential to prevail in matters of primary conservatorship.

As a father, the key question I seek to answer is whether I stand a fair chance of being heard impartially by a judge on this matter. After all, if there is an explicit or implicit bias regarding family law cases in Texas, why would you even want to bother moving forward with the case only to see it decided based on your gender? For the rest of today’s blog post, this is the subject that I would like to discuss in detail.

What’s the big deal about being a primary conservator?

The child’s primary conservator regarding a divorce or child custody case is the parent who cares for the child consistently and who holds advantages over the other parent regarding many issues when it comes to rights, duties, and time with the children. Let’s walk through some of the more important issues regarding these subjects so that they understand them a little bit better before your case begins.

Navigating Conservatorship and Custody Balance

The primary conservator of children can spend more time with the kids because they can designate the children’s primary residence. Being able to designate the children’s primary residence does not mean that you have sole custody or that the other parent will not get to spend time with the kids ever. However, it means the children will reside with you during the school year, with vacations and holidays divided fairly between you and your co-parent.

While this is a far cry from having something like sole custody, it allows you to spend probably close to 60% of your child’s time together with you. The possessory conservator, the person who is not the primary conservator, will have Visitation rights and privileges during the summer to have extended periods of Visitation. However, there is a feeling that the nonprimary conservator is always operating from a disadvantage when it comes to time with the child an influence in that child’s life as far as their well-being is concerned. Whether or not this is the case in your family will ultimately decide based on the factors and circumstances at play in your case.

Child Support: Duties of Conservatorship

The primary conservator gains the right to receive child support from the nonprimary conservator. The calculation of child support considers the number of children involved in the specific family law case and the parent’s net monthly income. To be sure, this is a huge responsibility as far as having to pay child support is concerned. While the calculation of child support is based on a formula contained in the Texas family code, the reality is for some people, this can be a fairly emotional topic.

There is something about paying money to an ex-spouse or former partner that rubs many people the wrong way. Just when you think your attachment to this person has ended, the reality emerges: your life with them, now centered on co-parenting and child support responsibilities, may just be beginning. With that said, there is ample opportunity 2 discuss the issues relevant to conservatorships and the deciding of these issues within a case.

That discussion typically comes about during the negotiation phases of a family law case. You and your Co-parent will have an opportunity and an obligation to go over these topics in detail to see if you all can arrive at a settlement between yourselves rather than proceed forward to a contested hearing or child within your divorce or child custody case. Ultimately, this is where many people find themselves better able to come to a solution that works best for all parties.

Do mothers have advantages in child custody and divorce cases when it comes to custody?

I think this is the question that we ultimately need to ask ourselves before going any further. If you are a concerned father who wants what is best for their children, then we need to seriously consider whether or not the state of Texas will provide you with a fair chance to have your issues addressed in child support, child custody, or divorce case. You may have even spoken with well-meaning friends and family who have told you that you have no chance to win primary custody or even a split in Visitation because of different prejudices held against men. Is this true?

The reality is that The Texas family code does not favor women over men regarding custody questions.

The Texas family code explicitly states that family court judges should not show preference based on the gender or sex of a party in family law cases. This legally prohibits judges from factoring in whether a party is a mother or a father when granting legal relief.

This provision should offer fathers reasons for optimism. Yet, this trend prompts questions, as mothers often receive primary conservatorship over fathers. If reality aligns with this observation, understanding why courts typically favor mothers for primary conservatorship becomes essential.

Is it that mothers are just better parents?

I hope you recognize that the belief mothers inherently make better parents and are more qualified to be primary conservators lacks foundation. In family law cases, the most critical factor in appointing a primary conservator often revolves around which parent has more frequently assumed that role throughout the family’s life before the case. Judges tend to avoid the risk of appointing a parent as the primary conservator if they lack experience in raising the children. Understanding this principle helps everything else fall into place.

How important are the roles that you and your spouse filed during your marriage?

After establishing that the law does not inherently favor men or women in custody cases, it’s vital to examine how your specific circumstances influence which parent gets named as the primary conservator. The clear answer is: absolutely yes! Family law cases rely heavily on your factual situation and how a judge views your parenting history. Therefore, reviewing your parenting history is crucial to assess your chances of being named the primary conservator.

Predicting Conservatorship Outcomes

For instance, when you begin to consider what role you And your spouse field during your marriage, you can then project what a judge would do if you presented them with the question of naming one of you as the primary Conservator of your children. As discussed earlier in today’s blog post, mothers more typically than fathers, at least in my experience, fulfill the role of primary caretaker of the children in a typical family. That doesn’t mean that you as a father may not be the primary caretaker for your children or that you are not capable of doing so. All it means is that your role in the household likely has not been the primary caretaker of the kids.

Why does that matter? Are you being punished for working more than your spouse or for allowing her to care for and nurture the children? Not at all. The job of a family court judge is not to designate specific roles for parents or limit your ability to care for your children as a father. What the judge’s job is, if called upon, would be to make decisions that are in the best interest of your children. Judges are typically conservative and how they award rights and duties in a family law case because they are not ones to rock the boat or bring into a family a great deal of change at one time.

Court Decisions Reflect Marital Roles

As a result, it is more likely than not that a family court judge would award rights in duties in a divorce based on the roles that you and your spouse filed during your marriage. If your wife was the party who spent more time at home with the children intended for their day-to-day needs, then it is likely that the judge would allow this to continue absent evidence to the contrary why this should not be the case. By the same token, if you were the primary caretaker of the kids before the divorce, I think it is more likely that you would be named as a primary conservator in the divorce.

This should tell you that you and your attorney need to have a goal-setting session at the beginning of your divorce to determine what you want to accomplish in your case. They should not be pie in the Sky objectives or goals but should be based on a rational determination of what you all can achieve with your current circumstances. Fathers like yourself should not rule out the ability to become primary conservators. Still, you also need to consider your options based on your current life and the roles you have filled in your marriage and family to that point.

Negotiation as a means to accomplish your goals in a divorce or child custody case

We have been talking about this subject in the context of what a family court judge would do if presented with a question of which parent to name as primary Conservatory of your children, either you or your spouse. In reality, most family law cases do not Come down to a determination by a judge. Rather, most family law cases come down to negotiation between you and your spouse in mediation. This allows you all to discuss the issues at hand and make determinations that are the best for your children and yourselves.

Try as they might come up, family court judges are not equipped to make more informed decisions than you and your spouse. This is true even if you and your spouse are not getting along at the moment or are having a hard time seeing eye to eye on any subject. Even in the fog of disagreement with your spouse, he will still know your circumstances better than a judge ever would. Additionally, I do not doubt that you want what is best for your children and can set aside your differences with your spouse to make decisions in the kids’ best interest.

Strategizing for Primary Conservatorship

If you can objectively view your circumstances, you should have a good idea of whether or not you stand a chance in a trial to be named as the primary Conservatory of your children. If you do not think that a judge would name your primary conservator the children, and that is your ultimate goal, you need to consider this when negotiating with your spouse. You and your attorney should work on goals that will allow you to achieve some degree of success towards achieving this goal while not pushing your case to a point where you don’t think you can be successful. There are no awards handed out for pushing a case to a point where your chance of success is near zero.

Rather, you can work with your attorney and an experienced mediator to help you craft final orders that allow you to maintain a great relationship with your children while being an integral part of the decision-making for your children now and in the future. This process begins and ends with you and your attorney having a good working relationship where you can discuss the most important issues and work on intentionally accomplishing your goals.

Questions about the material in today’s blog post? Contact the Law Office of Bryan Fagan

if you have any questions about the material contained in today’s blog post</a>; please do not hesitate to contact the Law Office of Bryan Fagan. Our licensed family law attorneys offer free of charge consultation six days a week in person, over the phone, and via video. These consultations are a great way for you to learn more about the law in Texas and how your family’s circumstances would be impacted by a child custody or divorce case.

Book an appointment with Law Office of Bryan Fagan using SetMore
  1. What State is Number 1 For Divorce?
  2. Can a Father Stop a Mother From Moving in Texas?
  3. How Long Does a Father Have To Be Absent in Texas to Lose His Rights?
  4. Can Fathers Win Child Custody in Texas?
  5. Unmarried Fathers’ Rights in Texas
  6. Does a father legally have to pay child support?
  7. Can a father lose custody?
  8. Ten Things Every Father Should Know About His Rights as A Father
  9. Navigating Unmarried Parenthood: What Happens If the Father Is Not on the Birth Certificate?”
  10. What are your chances of winning primary custody of your child as a father in Texas?

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