Myths Surrounding Texas Family Courts Granting a Father Custody


We have all heard the myth that it is almost impossible for a father to be granted custody of his children and that in order for this to occur, he first has to prove their mother is unfit. This may have been the case in previous decades, but more often is this becoming nothing more than a myth. While it can remain to be assumed that moms are still given custody at a much higher rate, the reasons to support these statistics, have little to do with the sex of the party.

When a Judge hears a contested custody matter, the Judge is supposed to decide as to what’s in the best interest of the child and leave any biases regarding mothers or fathers out of the courtroom. A Judge will want to know which one of the parents shouldered most of the burden of raising the kids in the years prior to litigation. This will likely be a big factor in determining which parent will be named as the parent with the exclusive right to determine the child’s primary residence.

If you are a father seeking primary custody, the following are a few tips to be prepared for litigation:

  • Don’t move out the community house until a court has ordered you to do so. If you make this move prematurely, it may seem as if you have left the residence and left mom to provide the primary care for your child.
  • Be careful when it comes to utilizing any social workers, counselors or court evaluators in your case. Ensure that you do some research and talk to your attorney about any possible biases against dads. An expert in a custody case carries a big weight.
  • Keep a detailed record and calendar of activities you do with your child. Things that seem little now such as bathing the child, cooking dinner daily, putting them to bed, taking and picking them up from school can all make a huge difference in the kind of parent the Judge sees you as.
  • Ensure that you stay involved in your child’s daily care, education, doctor’s appointments and any extracurricular activities. If you are having any issues wherein mom refuses to provide any of this information, discuss options with your attorney to try to get a court order for her to provide any information.
  • Don’t talk bad about mom or call her names. This is something that Judges frown upon and can be a huge determining factor in your case, especially if negative things are being said to the child or within the child’s hearing. A Judge may favor the parent who they feel is more likely to encourage the kids to have a healthy relationship with the other parent post-separation/divorce.

In summary, just be prepared. It will still be a custody battle, and nothing will change that. When talking with your attorney, have a Plan B if you are not granted custody of your child to alternatively seek as much possession as possible. An alternate option to being the primary parent is that neither party be the primary parent and both of you have equal rights and duties and equal periods of possession. In these cases, the primary residence of the child may be restricted to a certain area, such as a school district or county; this allows both parties to be able to be equally present and active in their child’s life.

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