The Texas court system is not allowed to consider the sex of a parent when making child custody decisions in divorce cases. While fathers have a better chance at equal custody rights than two generations ago, it’s still more common for mothers to be awarded custody, especially if the child is young.
This is why it’s important to have a divorce lawyer who understands the nuances of Texas child custody law and puts your best interest first. Here are a few considerations when it comes to fathers’ custody rights in Texas.
About Child Custody in Texas
There are two types of custody – legal custody and physical custody. Legal custody covers issues like medical and religious considerations. Physical custody, meanwhile, refers to the time each parent gets to spend with the child. Courts typically encourage parents to make the best decisions for their families but may need to intervene in cases where the split is not amicable.
When the courts make their decision, it will be based on which outcome is in the best interest of the child. They will factor in the well-being and suitability of each parent, and if the child is 12 and older, the child’s preference will be considered as well.
What The Numbers Say
A Texas Fathers’ Rights Movement study found that courts awarded an overwhelming majority of primary parental rights to mothers (93%) and that in only 5% of cases parenting times were shared 50/50. While the study is only in a single county near Houston (Brazoria), it’s indicative of a widespread trend.
But times are changing – mothers aren’t the only parent caring for the child anymore. According to a recent Pew study, the time fathers spend caring for children has doubled from 1965 to 2010. Additionally, children who spend more time with their fathers are shown to have a better overall quality of life, research shows.
For a father to have a fighting chance in a child custody case, he needs experts in his corner who understand Texas child custody law. Reach out to Bineham & Gillen today to see how to get started.
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