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Father's Rights in Texas divorce cases

In yesterday’s blog post from the Law Office of Bryan Fagan, PLLC we introduced and discussed information and topics related to father’s rights in the context of divorce cases. If you are a Texas father who is either going through or about to proceed into a divorce then this information is essential for you, in my opinion. Mothers going through divorce should be aware of the issues that are facing your children and how the role of the father has changed in recent years as a result of societal changes.

Working dads can still spend time with their children

When you think of a working parent you likely have images of a flustered and stressed up person walking through the door of the family home in the evening. The parent has had a hard day and simply want peace and quiet. Spending so much time at work can’t be good for their relationship with their child. I think this is what many fathers have in mind as well when it comes to how it will look to a judge when he or she attempts to make a case that he should be able to share 50/50 in parenting time with his child. The idea of asking for primary conservator-ship, where the child lives with dad throughout the workweek, is something that is almost impossible to conceive of.

As anyone who has driven on the freeways, interstates and toll roads in Houston can attest to, there are no shortage of people in in our area who have work schedules that do not require the clock to be punched at 8 a.m. and again at 4 p.m. Flexible work schedules that allow people to work from home are become more popular with each passing year. This stands to benefit children, mothers and fathers alike.

Suppose that your child has a play after school on a Wednesday evening. If your office is across town from the school you might have to miss the performance altogether. However, with work at home options you may be able to say home that day and do your work duties from the comfort of your couch. Zipping over to the school to see your child on stage is made that much easier as a result.

My point is that if you are a dad with a flexible work schedule and an eagerness to be there for the major moments of your child’s life, this will cause you to score highly with any judge who would be determining a custody division. Your wife will also know that she is not dealing with an absentee parent, but instead a parent who has gone through a lot of effort to be there – physically and otherwise – for his child. Mothers who know this are willing to negotiate more freely in hopes of avoiding an outcome in court that could be unfavorable to her.

Expanded Possession Orders make 50/50 custody a near lock for most fathers

An Expanded Standard Possession Order is easily achieved in most divorces if you are a father who wants more time with your child than what the Standard Possession Order allows for. An SPO holds that the non primary parent should have weekend visitation with their child on the 1st, 3rd and 5th weekends of each month in addition to a Thursday night visitation session from 6-8 p.m. Specific provisions exist for holidays and the Summer, but I don’t have the space in this blog post to get into all of those details.

An expanded standard possession order provides the non primary parent with more time with your child, unsurprisingly. Weekends are expanded by a few hours on Friday and an extra overnight on Sunday. You would be able to drop your child off at school Monday morning instead of taking him or her back to their mother’s house on Sunday evening at 6 p.m.

While these additions may seem insignificant at first glance, over the course of a year they add up to a great deal more than you might initially have thought. The overall time breakdown is something close to 55/45 in favor of your child’s mother. This is much closer to 50/50 than many fathers would have guessed was possible in their divorce.

Aim higher than 50/50 custody if you believe it is in your child’s best interests

50/50 custody is the goal of many dads who walk into our office to speak to me about a divorce case. As I alluded to in yesterday’s blog post, this is sort of seen as the best case scenario by many fathers due to misinformation contained in divorce horror stories that are fed to fathers. Crooked judges (it is said) who “hate” fathers will provide almost zero parenting times to fathers for no reason at all. So, for no reason other than fear of the unknown, fathers will often settle to share equally in the time that is available with their child.

This may be ok for many fathers, but I am willing to bet that you or another father you know are not satisfied with simply sharing equally in time with your child. In some instances you may have good reason to want to become the primary conservator of your child, as opposed to your wife. For all of the stories of “deadbeat” dads out there, I could tell you stories just the same about mothers who would not win mother of the year awards. My point is that mothers are not inherently better parents than fathers. The skill sets and abilities of moms and dads may differ but the end result is that a parent is a parent- no matter the sex of that parent. Mothers and fathers are both capable of raising a child.

Consider, then, the following pieces of advice if you are interested in being named the primary conservator of your children. Some of these may not apply or be possible for you considering your circumstances. However, I believe that most of these tips apply across the board for the fathers reading this blog post.

Stay in the marital home as long as you can

The subject header says it all. You are not forced to move from your home and away from your kids just because your wife files for divorce against you. Until a judge orders you to do so, you do not have to move out of your home. In fact, doing so often puts you at a disadvantage when requesting primary conservatorship of your child. If everyone can remain in the home safely, do so until the judge tells you otherwise.

Keep being the dad that your kids expect and need you to be

A divorce does not change the fact that you are your child’s father. Continue operating as normal with your children as much as you are able to. A judge will look favorably on a parent who has done a great deal to increase the stability and consistency in the family home.

Remember who you’re doing this for- your child

A divorce is not all about you and your spouse. You may be the person getting a divorce, but your children are just as affected by the case as you and your wife are. If you believe in your heart that you are the better equipped parent to care for your child on a daily basis then say so- and ask the court to be named a primary conservator. If you follow the advice that we have outlined in these blog posts and continue to be the positive force in your child’s life that you always have been you can achieve your goal.

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Other Articles you may be interested in:

  1. Roadmap of Basic Divorce Procedure in Texas
  2. Texas Child Support Basics
  3. Know How Property and Debts are Divided, When Preparing for Your Texas Divorce
  4. Dividing Property in a Texas Divorce - The Just and Right Division
  5. How Can I Get My Spouse to Pay My Attorney's Fees in a Texas Divorce?
  6. 7 Important Ways to Financially Prepare for Your Texas Divorce
  7. 6 Tips - On How to prepare for a Texas Divorce
  8. What are the Steps of a Contested Texas Divorce, and How can I Prepare for Them?
  9. 6 Mistakes that can Destroy Your Texas Divorce Case
  10. 6 things You Need to Know Before You File for Divorce in Texas

Law Office of Bryan Fagan, PLLC | Houston, Texas Divorce Lawyers

The Law Office of Bryan Fagan, PLLC routinely handles matters that affect children and families. If you have questions regarding Divorce, it's important to speak with one of our Houston, TX Child 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, PLLC by calling (281) 810-9760 or submit your contact information in our online form. The Law Office of Bryan Fagan, PLLC handles Divorce cases in Houston, Texas, Cypress, Klein, Humble, KingwoodTomballThe Woodlands, the FM 1960 area, or surrounding areas, including Harris CountyMontgomery CountyLiberty County, Chambers CountyGalveston CountyBrazoria CountyFort Bend County and Waller County.

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