Fathers Rights Lawyers Round Rock, TX Fathers Rights Lawyer Round Rock, TX

Texas law recognizes that children benefit from having a secure, loving relationship with both of their parents – even if those parents can no longer build a shared life. When considering a divorce, a father may have concerns about his relationship with his children. Will he be able to keep building that bond? Or will the terms of the custody agreement get in the way?

Texas child custody law focuses on the best interests of the child, not the gender of either parent. To advocate for arrangements that help you and your child continue building your relationship, talk to an experienced father’s rights attorney in Round Rock today. The legal team at the Law Office of Jason Wright is here to help.

What Rights Do Fathers Have in Texas Custody Matters?

There is a longstanding belief that men have had in states across the country for some time now. The belief is that when it comes to custody disputes, dads almost always lose. This isn’t true in most jurisdictions, and where it is true, imbalances are beginning to decrease.

Texas is gender-neutral when it comes to awarding custody. But there can be some hurdles for fathers to overcome in Texas custody matters. It is for this reason that it is important to speak with a father’s rights lawyer in Round Rock, TX residents trust if you find yourself in need of legal guidance concerning your rights as a parent. It is far better to ask questions upfront and to have a strong advocate on your side than it is to wonder if you’re doing everything possible to protect your rights and the interests of your children. The Law Office of Jason Wright, PLLC is proud to represent dads invested in their kids and we’d be happy to answer any questions you have about your legal rights as a father.

Questions of Fatherhood and Uncertain Parental Rights

When a baby is born, there are no questions about the identity of the child’s mother. There may, however, be questions about the identity of the child’s father. Even if you step up and do the work of a dad, the court may need additional evidence to provide you with parental rights.

In Texas, a man has no automatic parental rights or responsibilities to his child if he is not married to the mother at the time of birth. This means he cannot seek custody until or unless he establishes paternity.

There are two ways to establish paternity. The first is a DNA test involving samples from both the presumed father and the child. The second is for the mother to sign an affidavit stating that the man is the father.

It is worth noting that this is a two-way street. Men who want to be involved in their children’s lives need to establish paternity to have parental rights. Otherwise, the mother could completely deny access to the child or even move the child out of state if she wanted to.

There are instances in which women would want to establish paternity as well because paternity confers responsibilities as well as rights. First and foremost is the responsibility of child support. If an unmarried mother wants to seek court-ordered child support and the father denies paternity, she can ask the court to order the man to submit to a DNA test.

Generally speaking, children benefit when they know who their father is. Having this information gives children a sense of security in the world since they know where they came from. It also provides access to family medical histories, which help physicians treat the child’s illnesses and injuries throughout their lifespan.

If you have questions about how paternity works and/or how paternity issues could affect your rights and responsibilities, connect with our Round Rock, TX fathers rights lawyer today.

Texas Custody Laws and Practices

Assuming that paternity has been established or was never in question, there is nothing in Texas law or common practice that is explicitly discriminatory against fathers. Courts are instructed to make child custody decisions in the best interests of children. In almost every case, that means keeping both parents involved whenever possible.

Custody Decisions and Fathers’ Rights

When it comes to sole or joint conservatorship (known in other states as sole or joint custody), courts are technically gender-neutral. The presumption under Texas Law is that parents should be named joint managing conservators of their children.

Rather than considering the gender of each parent, courts consider what type of custody arrangements are in the best interests of the child. For most children, the best outcomes occur when parents work together to raise the child and the child gets to spend time with each parent.

Within a joint conservatorship arrangement, families have plenty of flexibility. Parties can create a calendar, schedule time for children with each parent, plan holidays, and discuss “ground rules” your children are expected to follow consistently, no matter which parent they’re spending time with.

In some situations, however, courts discover that limiting or ending contact with one parent is in the best interests of the child. A history of abuse by one parent, for instance, will often see courts place conservatorship in the hands of the other parent. Again, courts do not consider gender as a factor in abuse. Both mothers and fathers are capable of causing or shielding their children against abuse, neglect, and other forms of mistreatment. The court considers the facts in each case, including the behavior of each parent, in making conservatorship decisions.

Child Support Decisions and Fathers’ Rights

Courts are also gender-neutral when it comes to child support. Either parent (mom or dad) may be ordered to pay child support, or both might.

In Texas, child support decisions are guided by rules and formulas laid out in Texas’s family law. Courts are required to follow these rules and formulas in deciding who will pay child support and how much they will contribute.

Factors that may affect a Texas child support decision include

If one parent has no income or other monetary resources, the court may consider the parent’s assets, residence, employment history and skills, age, health, and other factors. The court may not, however, consider the parent’s gender when deciding how to handle child support.

Texas child support calculations can become complex. It’s important to work with an experienced attorney who can help you determine an appropriate amount of monetary support for your children.

Times Have Changed

In the past, fathers who feared they would be treated unfairly in custody decisions weren’t simply imagining things. There was a time in Texas and elsewhere when women were far more likely to be awarded custody/conservatorship because it was believed that women were the best caretakers of children.

Thankfully, that is no longer the case. Courts understand that gender alone doesn’t determine which parent is better at raising children. Gender alone also doesn’t determine the quality of the relationship each parent has with their children. Given these facts, Texas courts prefer to keep both parents involved when possible. When involving both parents isn’t possible, courts are willing to award sole conservatorship to the more appropriate parent—regardless of gender.

Learn More During an Initial Consultation

To get answers to your custody questions contact our experienced Round Rock, TX fathers rights lawyer team today to schedule your initial consultation. Every case is different, so it is important to seek experienced legal guidance rather than making any assumptions (for better or worse) about your situation. Our team can help you make an informed decision about your legal circumstances once we learn more about your family. We look forward to speaking with you.

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