Can a Fort Worth Child Custody Attorney Help a Father Get Conservatorship?
The legal process of divorce that follows the emotional decision to end a marriage is rarely an easy process to get through – even if the divorce was your idea. When a marriage involves minor children, the divorce process is often downright contentious. While it was once virtually unheard of for a father to want custody of his children in a divorce, that is no longer the case. More and more fathers are asking to retain sole managing conservatorship over his minor children when the parents end the marriage. If you are a father and are contemplating divorce, you may find yourself wanting to ask if a Fort Worth child custody attorney can help you get conservatorship over your children. The simple answer is “yes!”
Understanding “custody” in A Texas Divorce – Conservatorship and Possession and Access
If you are planning to go through a divorce in the State of Texas, and your divorce involves minor children, it is important to understand the terminology used in the state. The terms “custody” and “visitation” are not used in Texas. Instead, the terms “conservatorship” and “possession and access” are used when children are involved in a divorce. Conservatorship refers to a parent’s right to make important decisions regarding the child, such as where the child will go to school and what medical treatment a child will receive. Conservatorship can be awarded to one parent only, known as “sole conservatorship” or the parents can be share “joint conservatorship” over a child. “Possession and access” refers to which parent will have physical custody of a child and when the other parent will spend parenting time with the child.
Traditional Presumptions Regarding Parental Roles
Until relatively recently, both society and the law operated under the presumption that a mother would retain conservatorship and primary possession of minor children post-divorce. It was unusual for a father to want primary responsibility for children after a divorce – and even more unusual for a judge to grant a father his children in a divorce unless compelling evidence was presented showing the mother to be an unfit parent. Over the last couple of decades, there has been a noticeable shift in both the way society views parental roles and the way the law addresses those roles in a divorce action. In the State of Texas, the primary consideration when deciding who to award primary care of minor children in a divorce is the “best interests of the child.” In fact, Section 153.003 of the Texas Family Code makes it clear that no presumption in favor of the mother shall exist, stating as follows:
The court shall consider the qualifications of the parties without regard to their marital status or to the sex of the party or the child in determining:
which party to appoint as sole managing conservator;
whether to appoint a party as joint managing conservator; and
the terms and conditions of conservatorship and possession of and access to the child.
How Can a Fort Worth Child Custody Attorney Help Me?
Although it is clear that the law no longer recognizes a presumption in favor of the mother when determining conservatorship and possession of minor children in a divorce, it often remains a challenge for a father to actually win in a custody battle. If you plan to fight for your children in a divorce, the best thing you can do to increase your chances of succeeding is to retain the services of an experienced Fort Worth child custody attorney, preferably one who focuses on father’s rights. Having the law on your side is a good start; however, what you really need to increase your chances of success is an attorney who understands what a judge needs to hear, and what evidence you need to present, in order to be willing to award you sole managing conservatorship of your children in a divorce. You need an attorney who understands what is at stake and who understands the practical aspects of winning a child custody battle.
If you have additional questions or concerns about child custody in a Texas divorce, contact an experienced Fort Worth, Texas divorce attorney at The Law Office of Jon R. Boyd to schedule your appointment today.