What Are My Rights as A Father when I Get Divorced?
Dec. 26, 2021
Divorce is a complicated and often emotional process, made even more so if there are children involved. Fathers often approach divorce with antiquated ideas of what their rights are and what role they will play in the lives of their children post-divorce. To help set the record straight, Fort Worth father’s rights lawyer Jon Boyd explains five important rights fathers have during and after a divorce.
You have a right to remain with your children until a court orders otherwise. When divorce becomes inevitable, one of the first arguments is often over which parent will leave the marital home. All too often the father is the one to leave out of a misplaced sense of duty or obligation. If there is considerable discord or even abuse in the home, it is often best for one spouse to move out during the divorce process; however, if you and your spouse are handling the prospect of divorce in a civil manner, there is no reason that you must move out. In fact, doing so may negatively impact your chances of getting sole, or even joint, conservatorship of your children later in the divorce. The court can address the issue of who will remain in the marital residence at a pre-trial hearing. At that point, if you are ordered to move out you need to obey the court’s order.
You have a right to request joint, or even sole, conservatorship. The days of a mother enjoying a legal presumption in her favor when it comes to conservatorship of minor children are long gone. On the contrary, the law now makes it clear that decisions relating to conservatorship cannot be based on a parent’s sex. Today, courts routinely grant joint conservatorship and are much more likely to consider granting a father sole conservatorship if the facts warranted doing so.
You have a right to negotiate the terms of your Parenting Plan. Anytime there are minor children involved in a divorce a Parenting Plan must be approved by the court. The Parenting Plan will address issues such as conservatorship of the children, time-sharing, child support, holiday schedules, and conflict resolution. Just as the presumption in favor of mothers being awarded sole conservatorship no longer exists, the same is true for time-sharing presumptions that existed in the past. The law now favors a father maintaining a significant presence in the life of his children post-divorce which means you can fight for as much time with them as you wish – and you have an exceptionally good chance of being granted that time.
You have a right to object to the relocation of your children. If your former spouse is your children’s primary parent (meaning they live with her most of the time) and she wants to move more than a short distance away, you can object to that move. The law requires you to be notified of the intent to relocate and to object to that relocation. If you do file an objection, the court will set a hearing at which your former spouse must convince the court that the relocation is in the best interest of the children.
You have a right to request a modification of child support if warranted. In your divorce you may have been ordered to pay child support based on your income at the time the divorce was granted. If factors have changed since that order was entered, such as you lost your job through no fault of your own, or a child has been emancipated or reached the age of majority, you may be entitled to modify the existing child support order.
Contact a Fort Worth Father’s Rights Lawyer
If you have additional questions or concerns about your rights as a father during and after a divorce, contact an experienced Fort Worth father’s rights lawyer at Boyd Family Law to schedule your appointment today.