Texas Fathers Fight For Child Custody And Paternal Rights

Fathers across the country are fighting for equal custody rights to their children. Many fathers are being awarded custody as a result.

Fathers from Texas and around the nation continue to speak out in favor of equal parenting rights for their children. While mothers were almost always guaranteed custody of their children in a divorce case, fathers are now putting up a fight and actually receiving joint or primary physical custody of their children as a result. In fact, an article published in Working Mother magazine reports that nearly 50 percent of men who seek primary custody of their children during a divorce dispute are granted it. Other cases involve men who are not granted custody of their children, leaving them to fight for paternal rights to their children.

One such case involves a prominent actor who has lost all parental rights to his 4-year-old son. Since the child was conceived using in vitro fertilization, the judge presiding over the case made a ruling extinguishing the man’s parental rights to his son. Similar cases are popping up nation-wide, and although they have been happening for years, they are finally gaining media attention.

Looking out for the child’s best interest

Over the last 50 years, the U.S. Court system has moved away from using the ‘tender years doctrine,’ as a way to justify awarding child custody to the mother. This doctrine argued that children under the age of 7 should stay with their mothers. Now, the courts award child custody based on the best interests of the child. In an ideal case, joint parenting is awarded, giving the child a chance to develop a relationship with both their mother and father. However, the judge will use his or her discretion to determine where the child will receive the best care. According to ChildWelfare.gov, judges may consider the following:

  • Whether there is domestic violence in the home.
  • Which parent spends the most time with the child?
  • Which parent can provide a safe and clean environment where the child will thrive?
  • The physical and mental health of the parent.
  • The emotional bond between the parent and child.
  • The child’s preference, often used in cases where the child is older.

A change in roles

There are several signs that gender roles of divorced parents are changing. More mothers are paying child support, according to the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers. This is due to the fact that many women are making more money in the workface than their ex-husbands. The New York Times reports that more than 2.2 million women in the U.S. do not have primary custody of their children.

Getting professional help

Going through a child custody battle can be extremely overwhelming. With emotions running high, it may be hard to make important decisions. An established family attorney can be vital to a child custody case. Not only will they walk you through the process, but they can provide legal counsel along the way.

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