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Fort Worth Fathers Rights Lawyer Urges Fathers to Exercise Their Rights

Boyd Family Law Dec. 28, 2021

Once upon a time, not all that long ago, the roles of mothers and fathers within the family unit were fairly well established, both by society and by the law. Divorce was far from common; however, it happened often enough for both society and the law to also have established expectations of mother and fathers post-divorce as well. Over the last several decades those well-defined roles have becomes considerably less well defined. Fathers, specifically, have started to take a much more active role in parenting their children, both during a marriage and even after a divorce. Many fathers, however, remain uncertain of their role and their rights. In an effort to change that, a Fort Worth fathers rights lawyer urges fathers to learn what rights they have and to exercise those rights.

The 21st Century Family

Depending on your age, it might be your parents or your grandparents, but not all that far back in your family you will likely find a 20th Century Family. The husband’s job was to go to work every day to support the family while the wife’s job was to maintain the home and raise the children. In the relatively unlikely event of divorce, the mother got custody of the children and the father got visitation rights for a weekend – maybe two – each month. With very rare exceptions, fathers were only awarded custody of the children when the mother was proven to be unfit, and even then fathers accepted that role reluctantly.

Fast forward to the 21st Century where things could not be more different. The 21st Century Family frequently has two parents who work outside of the home, requiring both mother and father to help maintain the home and raise the children. Unfortunately, divorce is not common; however, the fate of minor children in a divorce is often uncertain because custody battles are also, unfortunately, somewhat common. As a father in the 21st Century Family, do you know your rights? Do you know how and when to exercise them?

Your Rights to Your Children

In the State of Texas, and in most other states, the law no longer favors the mother with regard to the issue of custody of the minor children in a divorce or post-divorce. In fact, in Texas, the law specifically prohibits making conservatorship (custody in Texas) decisions based on the sex of the party. The “best interest of the child” is the standard the court must use when deciding issues relating to conservatorship as well as possession and access.

You have the right to request to be the joint conservator or the sole managing conservator but you need to assert that right when you file for divorce or when you file your Answer to the Complaint if your spouse initiated the divorce.

You also have the right to liberal possession and access to your children. Texas has a standard possession and access schedule that is typically used. In addition, your ex-spouse cannot refuse to allow you access to the children if you fall behind on your court-ordered child support.

As joint conservator, you also have a right to input on major decisions impacting your children, such as medical procedures or education, and a right to make everyday decisions for them when exercising your possession and access time. In addition, you have the right to be kept informed about important things affecting your children, such as school grades or major illness.

You also have the right to object if your spouse wants to relocate with the children. The law requires your ex-spouse to notify you in advance. If you object, you must file a written objection within the allowed by law.

How a Fathers Rights Lawyer Can Help

In a nutshell, you have the same rights to your minor children that their mother has, unless a court decides otherwise. Like any other legal right you have though, you must assert those rights or the law will presume that you waive them. A fathers rights lawyer can help you assert your rights at the appropriate time and in the appropriate way.

Contact a Fort Worth Fathers Rights Lawyer

If you have additional questions or concerns about your rights as a father, contact an experienced Fort Worth fathers rights lawyer at The Law Office of Jon R. Boyd to schedule your appointment today.