Fatherhood brings joy into the lives of many men. They love and support their children and always want what is best for them. In return, their children need their fathers to be active participants in their upbringing. If you are going through a divorce, an experienced fathers’ rights lawyer in Dallas can help protect your relationship with your children during a divorce.
Unfortunately, the role of fathers is too often diminished by a divorce or dissolution of a romantic relationship with the mother. This occurs despite Texas law holding a father’s right to be with his children as sacrosanct. When fathers face alienation from their offspring, they must assert their rights.
The Dallas family law lawyers at The Aberdeen Law Firm are available to help you protect your rights as a father. Contact us today by completing our online contact form, using our chat tool, or giving us a call and schedule your free consultation with a member of our team.
What Are Fathers’ Rights?
Fathers’ rights are a collection of laws that protect fathers from becoming alienated from their children. However, fathers’ rights are not automatically considered. To protect them, fathers must assert them. Fathers’ inalienable rights include the following:
- The right to visitation
- The right to joint custody
- The right to seek primary conservatorship
- The right to receive child support
- The right to establish paternity
The Right to Visitation
Visitation is the most sacrosanct of fathers’ rights. Courts grant visitation as a matter of course because it is presumed to be in the child’s best interest. Even in cases involving violent fathers, courts typically grant visitation, though they may require it to be supervised for the child’s safety.
Termination of visitation rights is exceptionally rare. However, if the court deems the father is too much of a danger to the child, it can withdraw the right to visitation. For example, a court may terminate a father’s parental rights in the best interests of the child if he is a convicted child molester.
The Right to Joint Custody
Even if the kids live with their mom, fathers can share custody. Texas’s joint custody law permits fathers to have their say in how the child is raised. When they have joint custody, fathers have input in choosing where the children live and go to school.
A father typically has the right to attend parent/teacher conferences and make decisions on religious influences. In essence, joint custody allows fathers to fully participate in their child’s upbringing even if the kids live full-time with the mother.
The Right to Seek Primary Conservatorship
Texas law employs the term conservatorship instead of custody, though the terms are interchangeable. While many fathers are satisfied with shared custody with the children residing with the mother, they have the right to seek primary conservatorship, where the kids reside with them. In the past, courts have been biased toward granting mothers primary conservatorship.
There was a presumption that mothers were better suited to raise children in all cases unless the mother was somehow unable to care for the children. For example, in previous eras, the court may only have granted the father primary conservatorship if the mother had an illness that made it impossible for her to care for the children.
In other cases, the court would give the father sole custody if the mother had a history of child abuse or drug addiction. In today’s environment, courts no longer enforce this bias. The father has an equal right to seek primary conservatorship. The court bases its decision on the child’s best interests. If the father shows that living with him best suits the child, he can win custody.
The Right to Receive Child Support
In previous decades, courts virtually always gave the kids to the mother and ordered the father to pay child support. A mother paying a father child support was virtually unheard of.
However, times have changed. Courts are willing to grant primary custody to fathers when they show the child is better off living with their dad. When this occurs, the father has the right to receive child support.
The costs of raising a child can seem astronomical. Single parents have a difficult time making ends meet, leading to stress and a need to spend too much time away from their children just to make a living. Child support mitigates this problem, making it possible for a single parent to survive financially, including when the single parent is a father.
The Right to Establish Paternity
The media makes a lot of noise about fathers denying paternity to avoid paying child support. While this does occur, most fathers want to be involved in their children’s lives, even if it creates a financial burden.
In some cases, the mother may prefer to forego child support to keep the father away from the children. When this happens, the father has the right to establish paternity and seek visitation and conservatorship. The court can order a paternity test that establishes a father’s right to be with his children.
Most fathers want to be involved in their children’s lives, whether that means visitation, joint conservatorship, or primary conservatorship. Texas law has evolved to be more friendly toward fathers’ rights. But these rights are not automatic. Fathers must claim them through the legal process.
For a free legal consultation with a fathers rights lawyer serving Dallas, call (855) 593-1497
Protecting Your Rights During a Divorce
When you hire a Dallas fathers’ rights attorney during a divorce, they will take a variety of steps to ensure your parental rights are protected. Whether your divorce agreement is finalized in court or through an alternative resolution process, such as mediation, your lawyer can help ensure you are in the best position to have a meaningful relationship with your children.
Attempting to go through the divorce process without the help of an experienced professional is likely to result in an unfavorable outcome. Even if you and your spouse are on relatively good terms in an amicable divorce, the issue of custody can be a tough point to settle.
Having an attorney by your side with a history of helping protect the rights of fathers is critical. Your lawyer can help you negotiate for an outcome to the divorce that best benefits your children and helps ensure that you maintain a positive relationship during and after the divorce.
Dallas Fathers Rights Lawyer Near Me (855) 593-1497
Call Us Today to Speak With a Fathers’ Rights Lawyer in Dallas, TX
At The Aberdeen Law Firm, we fight hard to defend the parental rights of fathers. Our experienced child custody lawyers in Dallas know how to fight gender discrimination in child custody cases. We have helped many fathers protect their rights to parenting time and legal decision-making in order to maintain healthy relationships with their children. Give us a call, use our online chat tool, or complete our contact form to schedule your free consultation today. One of our Dallas fathers’ rights attorneys will review your case and advise you of your legal rights.