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Texas Fathers Fight for Equal Custody Rights

How is child custody determined in Texas?

A group of Texas fathers are fighting to get a law passed that would allow for equal custody for both parents during a divorce. Texas House Bill 453 is authored by State Representative James White. It states that the court shall enter a child custody agreement that divides the time equally between parents after divorce. Currently, many fathers believe the custody system favors the mother. This law, which several other states have in place, sets out to eliminate any inequities in child custody.

Texas Child Custody Laws

In the event of a divorce, child custody will become one of the main concerns of each parent. Texas courts are empowered to allow legal and physical custody to either one of the parents, or to the parents together. The court decides custody matters on the basis of the child’s best interests.

A Texas judge will consider the following factors in issuing a custody order:

  • The physical, emotional, and mental needs of the child;
  • The ability of each parent to care for the child;
  • The stability offered by the home of each parent;
  • The parents’ plan for the future of the child;
  • Any past abuse;
  • The ability of each parent to support the child’s relationship with the other parent;
  • The child’s relationship with other members of the family; and
  • The preference of the child, if the child is over 12.

The Parenting Plan

A parenting plan can be created by the parents and approved by the judge. A good parenting plan will indicate which of the parents the child will live with during the week, on weekends, during holidays, and on school breaks. The noncustodial parent should be able to visit the child a reasonable number of times. If the parents cannot reach an agreement on a parenting plan, the court will assist in drafting a reasonable plan.

Child custody is critically important to both parents following a divorce. For assistance with your child custody matter, contact our Austin, Texas child custody lawyers at Stinson Moyle, PLLC.