Back when a woman’s “place” was supposed to be in the home, it was clear that Texas judges favored mothers when it came to child custody decisions. Today, however, fathers are not only more likely to play an active role in their children’s lives, but also to be stay-at-home parents with primary caregiving responsibilities. Laws have changed to reflect changes in society. But when all is said and done, does Texas still favor mothers in divorce cases? An Allen child custody lawyer reviews the impact of legal changes.

The Standard is Not Supposed to Favor Either Parent

Instead of favoring mothers or fathers in a divorce case, Texas courts are supposed to base decisions on the best interests of the child or children involved. Courts may consider factors such as:

  • The stability of each parent’s home life
  • The child’s needs (physical and emotional)
  • The parenting ability of each spouse
  • The child’s relationship with each parent (past and present)
  • Any past abuse or neglect

If the child is old enough, their preference may also be taken into consideration. An Allen child custody lawyer could help a parent prepare evidence to demonstrate that these factors favor one parent over the other or that joint custody is the most appropriate solution. 

Temporary Custody Can Be Critical

Either parent can ask for temporary custody at the time the divorce case is filed in court. Although the award of custody is described as short-term for the duration of the proceedings, a child custody lawyer in Allen knows the reality is often quite different. Temporary custody arrangements frequently become permanent for a number of reasons.

First and foremost, the temporary custody situation quickly becomes the new normal for the family, particularly the children. As the case continues, a judge may be increasingly less likely to disrupt the child’s life by changing living arrangements. For that reason, it is critical to make a good case for custody right at the start. Although final custody orders are not supposed to favor either parent, there is still sometimes a tendency to award temporary custody to the mother. Fathers who want sole or shared physical custody should seek custody upfront, even when the issue is still ruled as temporary. 

Mothers May Have an Easier Time with Visitation Rights

In Texas, mothers virtually always receive visitation rights if they are not made the custodial parent. Only if their parental rights are terminated is it likely that a mother will not have at least some visitation opportunities. 

Men who have raised children in a marriage may not always be guaranteed the same opportunities. Texas law presumes that the husband in a divorce case is the father of the child, but in some situations, another man can file a paternity action to establish that he, rather than the husband, should have paternal rights. 

To Establish Your Custody Rights, Work with an Experienced Allen Child Custody Lawyer

On the books, Texas law does not favor mothers in divorce cases. However, if a mother gains temporary custody during the divorce, the odds that she will retain custody can increase substantially.

The bottom line is that to get the custody arrangements they want, either parent should present their choice upfront and demonstrate why that choice is in the best interests of the child. To learn how an experienced Allen child custody lawyer could help achieve your objectives in your divorce case, contact us now for a free confidential consultation.