Traditionally, after a divorce, the mom would get to stay with the kids while the father would come to visit according to a court-ordered schedule. But can dads seek full custody of their kids – and win it? Our attorneys explain how custody works in Texas and how fathers can pursue a sole custody arrangement following a divorce.
What Is the Difference Between Sole Custody and Joint Custody?
In Texas, custody is often referred to as conservatorship. A parent with sole custody is called a sole managing conservator and is the only parent that has decision-making powers on behalf of the child. The other parent will likely have a schedule for parenting time with the child, but the child will usually reside with the custodial parent.
Joint custody (or joint managing conservatorship as) gives both parents equal decision-making rights on behalf of the child. The court may or may not award equal parenting time for both parents, as possession and access (visitation) are addressed by the judge in a separate order.
Do Texas Courts Favor the Mother in Custody Cases?
Society has traditionally viewed the mother as the primary caretaker of children after a divorce, and while that may still be true for younger children, the role of fathers has gradually evolved to allow them more flexible work schedules and more involvement with the children. Texas courts do not favor the mother or the father in a custody case; instead, they will simply make decisions according to what is in the child’s best interests.
What Should a Father Do to Get Full Custody of His Kids?
While Texas courts tend to favor joint managing conservatorships because they understand a child will benefit from being raised by both parents, dads may successfully gain sole custody of their kids without necessarily having the mother declared as an unfit parent.
Being involved in the children’s daily routines and not moving out of the marital home without the children may be beneficial to dads seeking sole custody. Showing the court that you are prepared as a father to give your children a stable home and a moral upbringing may also be helpful to support your case. Working with a skilled attorney is also important to make sure you are prepared to present your point of view to the court.
How Can a Child Custody Attorney Help?
If you are a father planning on seeking full custody of your kids, your first step should be to talk to a family law attorney such as the ones at ALP Law Firm. Your attorney can advise you on how to prepare for your child custody case and what to expect in court. Contact our Bellaire, TX office for a no-commitment case analysis.