Until relatively recently, divorce was relatively uncommon and was definitely frowned upon by society. When a couple did divorce, the outcome of the divorce was all but pre-determined with the mother getting custody of the minor children and the father being relegated to a once a month presence in the lives of his children. Over the last couple of decades, however, that has changed. More and more fathers are refusing to accept the status quo, instead choosing to fight for their right to remain active in the lives of their children post-divorce. Some fathers are even choosing to pursue custody of their children in a divorce. If you are a father who is contemplating divorce, or who has already made the decision to end your marriage, your choice of attorney will be an important factor in the outcome of your divorce. If your rights as a father are important to you, you need to retain the services of a Fort Worth father’s rights attorney to represent you in your divorce.
In order to understand why your choice of attorney is so crucial, you need to first understand what is really at stake in a divorce. To understand that, it helps to learn some divorce basics. Divorce is the legal process that ends a marriage. During a divorce proceeding a number of issues must be resolved, including:
Divisions of marital property and debts
Conservatorship of minor children
Possession and access of minor children
Ideally, these issues are resolved through negotiations between the parties that lead to a mutually acceptable agreement. Sometimes, however, the parties are unable to reach an agreement on all of the issues in a divorce. When that is the case, the court often refers the couple to mediation. If mediation fails to result in an agreement on all issues, the case will proceed to trial and any remaining contested issues will be resolved at trial.
For many years, the “Tender Years” doctrine governed most custody decisions in a divorce. The Tender Years doctrine effectively argued that a young child should not be taken away from his/her mother because of the unique needs of a young child that only a mother can fulfill and because of the natural bond formed with a mother. That doctrine no longer applies in Texas. In fact, Texas Family Code Section 153.003 specifically does away with the doctrine, 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:
(1) which party to appoint as sole managing conservator;
(2) whether to appoint a party as joint managing conservator; and
(3) the terms and conditions of conservatorship and possession of and access to the child.
Today, fathers are taking a much more active role in the lives of their children. Most couples now share parenting duties equally and a significant percentage of men are even electing to be the stay at home parent when a child is very young. These changes have come about slowly, and although the law supports the concept of equal rights for fathers, it can still be difficult to enforce those rights in a court sometimes. Having an attorney on your side who not only understands your struggle but who also has the experience and skill to help you succeed in your quest to protect your rights to your children in an invaluable tool during a divorce. Don’t trust your future, and your relationship with your children, to just any divorce attorney. By retaining the services of a Fort Worth father’s rights attorney you will significantly increase your chances of obtaining the outcome you want in your divorce, whether that is managing conservator of your children of just equal parenting time with them.
If you have additional questions or concerns about what’s at stake in your divorce or why you should hire a Fort Worth father’s rights attorney for your Texas divorce, contact an experienced Fort Worth, Texas divorce attorney at The Law Office of Jon R. Boyd to schedule your appointment today.