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Learn About Fathers’ Rights From a McKinney Child Custody Attorney
As a father, protecting your relationship with your children is likely to be among the most important aspects of your divorce or separation. You love your children, you have helped raise them and sacrificed to give them every available opportunity, and you want to make sure that your special bond is not broken, but rather continues to strengthen over time.
Our family law practice is led by partner J. Ryan Nordhaus, an experienced attorney who has been representing clients in North Texas since 2003. We understand the unique issues involved in seeking custody and visitation rights as a father, and we can help you secure the parental rights you desire consistent with Texas law. Whether you wish to remain in the family home, relocate, secure primary custody or ensure that you will be able to spend weekends and holidays with your children, we can use our experience to make sure your relationship with your children is secure.
Fathers’ Rights in Texas: What Fathers Need to Know about Child Custody
As you prepare to seek custody or visitation rights (referred to as “managing conservatorship” and “possessory conservatorship” in Texas), here are some key facts you need to know:
1. Texas Law Does Not Inherently Favor Either Parent
In Texas custody matters, both parents start out on equal footing. The law does not favor granting primary custody to the mother (despite popular belief), but rather presumes that each parent is equally capable of meeting their children’s needs.
2. Custody Orders Must Reflect the Children’s Best Interests
In all child custody matters, the guiding principle is to protect the best interests of the child. Texas’s custody law outlines several “best interests” factors which do not inherently favor either parent. These factors include:
- Each parent’s involvement in the children’s life prior to the divorce or separation
- Each parent’s ability to care for their children
- Each parent’s willingness and desire to care for their children
- The effects on the child of separating from either parent
- The child’s wishes, if the child is over the age of 12
3. You Can Seek Custody if You Work Full-Time
Another common misconception is that fathers cannot obtain custody if they work full-time. It is possible to obtain custody if you work full-time – once again, the “best interests” factors are what will ultimately control your custody determination. For more information, we encourage you to read: Seeking Custody When You Work Full-Time.
4. You Can Legally Enforce Your Custody or Visitation Rights
If your former spouse or partner interferes with your custody or visitation rights, you can enforce your rights in court. Custody orders are legally-binding, and violating a court order is a very serious matter. If you need to take legal action to enforce your right to spend time with your children, we can act quickly to get your case in front of a judge.
Contact a McKinney Child Custody Lawyer at Nordhaus Walpole, PLLC
To learn more about your parental rights as a father in Texas, please contact a McKinney child custody lawyer to arrange a free initial consultation. All consultations are completely confidential, and we can help you make informed decisions about protecting your legal rights. You can reach us by phone at (214) 726-1450, or get in touch online and we will respond as soon as possible.