Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Are Dads at a Disadvantage when trying to win 50/50 custody in a Texas Divorce?

Originally published by Evan Hochschild.

Family Courts in Texas have a reputation as being “pro-Mom” in that most people believe (rightly or wrongly) that if their divorce or child custody case proceeds to go in front of a judge, that judge will most likely award the mother with greater rights to the children as well as more time with them.

While this may have been the case across the board in the past, more and more Dads are getting close to “split” custody with their ex-wives. If you’re a Dad contemplating divorce the immediate question that comes to find, I’m sure, is: How can this happen for me?

The Age of the Child

The biggest key for a Dad who wants to be awarded 50/50 custody in a divorce is the age of the child at issue. If your child is younger than three years old a Dad has less of an opportunity to be awarded split custody.

This can be for as simple a reason as the child may still be breast feeding and therefore directly dependent on his or her mother physically being near. Other than this situation, the odds of a father getting split custody is greater in today’s world than at any time before.

One of reasons for this positive shift towards fathers being given more respect by the Courts in this regard is due in large part to fathers being more active in their children’s lives than perhaps in previous generations. It’s the experience of the attorneys with the Law Office of Bryan Fagan that fathers take on more parenting responsibility now and will even go so far as to take jobs where they are working at home or have more flexible schedules in order to be present at home. What’s more- the age of women remaining in the home and men going out in the workforce is no longer a reality. Both parents are income earners in today’s world. The fact that both parents work is a leg up for fathers. This is due to the fact that mothers are no longer able to convincingly tell a judge that they will be better equipped to have more time with the children due to their being at home more.

What can dads to increase the odds of them getting 50/50 custody with their soon to be ex spouse?

  1. Be present for your child. If your case isn’t able to settle before going to court, asking a judge to dramatically change the lives of your children in order so that you can get 50/50 custody is extremely unlikely. Meaning- if you weren’t always the most involved Dad in the world and are only now, at the time of your divorce, becoming more active it is unlikely that the judge will throw off the status quo to suit you. Even if the divorce has thrown off the schedule a little, as far as your daily involvement with the children, be sure to stay in communication with them and to do as much of your past roles as possible.
  2. Remain physically with the kids as long as you can. A lot of parents that come into the Law Office of Bryan Fagan for a consultation will mention that they’ve moved out of the family home already because of the acrimony between themselves and their spouses. While this makes sense in terms of avoiding conflict and reducing stress it can be extremely detrimental to a father’s chances of getting 50/50 custody. Leaving the home without the kids, even for a really good reason, can show a judge that you are not as committed to your kids as you may be professing. The best advice that can provided to you the reader is to take the children with you if you intend to leave the martial home.
  3. Keep your eye on the prize. Never losing sight of what is most important to you in your divorce is what will help you achieve whatever goals you’ve set for yourself. After handling many, many divorce cases at the Law Office of Bryan Fagan, I can honestly tell the reader of this blog post that the children are the most important part of any case. A person’s whole persona, attitude and outlook can change dramatically based on how frequently they are able to see their children. Remembering why you’re going through this process and who the divorce may actually stand to benefit in certain ways can go a long ways towards keeping a Dad mentally fit during the divorce process.

Texas House Bill 453 is currently pending in the House of Representatives Juvenile Justice and Family Issues Committee, which would seek to allow for equal custody for both parents during a divorce in Texas. While it is unlikely for this bill to advance towards becoming a law in this legislative session, the importance of the bill cannot be understated. The text of the bill reads that judges “Shall” enter a possession schedule that divides time equally between parents while the divorce is proceeding. As with most efforts to change the law, it may take time for this bill to move within the legislative apparatus but it’s introduction does show that there is at least a perception that the law does not treat mothers and fathers the same when it comes to the subject of child custody.

While change may be afoot for divorcing fathers in Texas, the reality of the situation is that fathers need every advantage they can get when it comes to trying to win 50/50 custody of their children in a divorce. The attorneys with the Law Office of Bryan Fagan realize that the most important part of representing a parent are the children that are involved. If you have specific questions about your family and how your relationship with your children may change as a result of going through a divorce, please contact our office today in order to set up an appointment with one of our attorneys.

Curated by Texas Bar Today. Follow us on Twitter @texasbartoday.

from Texas Bar Today http://ift.tt/2qnYIDK
via Abogado Aly Website

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