Divorce is difficult. Divorces involving children can be more difficult. And if you are a man who is concerned about your father’s rights, divorce can be very difficult–and require an attorney.
In the past, family courts often favored the mother, assuming she would naturally be the better caregiver. The good news is, things have changed. Courts now recognize that men can be just as good at parenting as women. Therefore, Texas now requires that courts make decisions based on what is best for the children.
This means that fathers have the legal right to advocate for what they think is best for their children. So if you are a dad who is getting divorced, don’t just “give up” and assume the mother will automatically get full custody of the children. But do think about finding an attorney ready to represent you as a parent.
What Divorcing Dads Need to Know about Custody and Visitation
Child custody and visitation for a father can be one of the most contentious parts of a divorce. The first thing is for fathers to understand the various legal terms:
Physical custody refers to where the children will live.
Legal custody refers to making decisions regarding the children’s medical care, education, and overall well-being.
Part of the judge’s responsibility is to determine whether custody will be joint, primary, or sole. For example, if the father has primary physical custody, the children will live primarily with him. The other parent, meanwhile, will be given visitation rights.
Note that it is not unusual for the court to issue a divorce settlement that calls for primary physical custody but joint legal custody. This means that even if the children do not live with the father, he can still play a very active parenting role. And yes, fathers do have the right to request sole physical and legal custody.
In Custody Cases, Mothers May Still Have an Advantage
In theory then, dads and moms have equal standing before the court. Even so, men wanting to protect their rights as fathers still may be facing an uphill legal battle.
There are several reasons why fathers end up at a disadvantage. The first one is they don’t have a divorce attorney lined up. Studies have found that women are much more likely than men to file for divorce. In these cases, the women may want both a divorce and primary custody of the children, and they are prepared to explain why.
The mother also may have an advantage in securing primary custody if the father’s job has kept him away from home for great lengths of time. Even more significant, if the father has moved out of the house, the mother is assumed to be acting as the primary caregiver. In a custody battle, this gives her a significant advantage.
Even if the father does not win primary physical custody, he still has rights. For one, the mother is not permitted to keep him from seeing his children. Similarly, she cannot just move away, or offer a child up for adoption without his involvement.
Dads Need a Good Divorce Lawyer
Emotions can run high in custody battles, and some parents may go to extremes to win custody. One parent may accuse the other of alcoholism, infidelity, or drug use. The parent may claim that the spouse has been emotionally or physically abusive. Or they may just claim that the other spouse is a bad parent.
All of which means that if you are a father who is concerned about your rights, be prepared. Custody and visitation cases can be complex, frustrating, and stressful. You will need to be ready to clearly advocate for yourself, and it’s not enough just to tell the court, “I’m the better parent.”
That’s why it’s important for men who are getting divorced to make sure they have good legal representation. This means you need to find an attorney who knows the complicated legal process and knows how to fight to protect a father’s rights.
Additional resources about father’s rights:
Three Questions to Ask Father’s Rights Attorneys
Now that you know why divorcing men may need a good father’s rights attorney, the next question is, how do you find one? Here are three questions you can ask a divorce attorney about defending a father’s rights:
- Detail your experience handling Texas divorce cases?
- How much experience do you have representing the father in a child custody case?
- Share how successful you have been in representing fathers in child custody cases?
Remember, it’s not enough for a lawyer to have experience. You also need a father’s rights attorney who can get results.
We Are Your Fort Worth Father’s Rights Attorneys
The attorneys of the Maynard Law Firm, PLLC, believe that the relationship between children and their father is just as important as the one they have with their mother. They also think it is wrong to assume the mother is the better parent, and the father’s rights should be respected.
Just as important, they have more than 25 years of experience serving as divorce lawyers for dads in Fort Worth and the surrounding Tarrant County area. Their attorneys fully understand Texas divorce law, and they will make sure you fully understand your rights as a father.
This means you can count on them to help you secure fair custody and visitation arrangements. Similarly, they have the experience to effectively defend fathers who are the victim of false allegations. Regardless of the circumstances, they will work to defend your father’s rights. They also will ensure you have a presence in the lives of your children, physically and emotionally.
Attorneys Providing Compassionate, Effective Representation for Fathers
If you are a Fort Worth area dad considering a divorce, going through divorce now, or dealing with child custody issues from a previous divorce decree, we are here to help you with a free case review. We can provide you with compassionate, effective representation, helping you continue to have a meaningful relationship with your children. Because even if your role as a spouse is ending, your rights as a father are not. Call us today at 817-335-9600.