A divorce can be an emotionally tumultuous period, especially if you are a parent with concerns about how you will continue to raise your child. As a now unmarried Texas father, you may be justifiably curious about what parental rights you still have.
It is a common misconception that mothers have a clear advantage in establishing child custody in a divorce. You can take steps toward receiving fair treatment by learning what rights you have as a father and how to fight for them.
Fathers have equal rights in a divorce
Either parent, whether a mother or a father, has equal parental rights and duties according to the Texas Family Code. These include the right to physical custody of the child and designation of the child’s residence, as well as the duties of caring for and supporting the child. You have a claim to these rights if you are a father with an apparent or provable parent-child relationship.
How a father can establish his rights during a divorce
If you and your spouse can not come to a mutual agreement regarding custody during a divorce, a court may make a decision in the child’s best interest. In this case, a family law attorney could help you build a case for your right to being the custodial parent. You can improve your case by avoiding behavior that might paint you in a negative light, such as dating during your divorce proceedings.
While Texas fathers have the same rights enjoyed by all parents, it would be difficult to advocate for those rights through self-representation.