Fathers in Texas may be afraid of losing their close relationship with their children after a divorce. People may have heard horror stories about fathers’ views and interests being neglected in family court. However, the modern approach to child custody favors both parents as being equally important in a child’s life, especially if both parents have always been involved with the children. In many cases, courts begin with a presumption of favoring joint legal and physical custody. Even when one parent has the majority of physical custody, joint legal custody that involves both parents in major decisions is often preferred.
Courts measure a number of factors when making a decision about child custody. In many cases, family courts strongly encourage both parents to work with their attorneys to negotiate a parenting plan that works for both parents and the children. A positive approach to co-parenting by both parties can make the legal process easier as well as help the children to feel more comfortable dealing with their parents’ separation. When the court decides, factors involved may include parents’ employment, income, living situation, responsibility, mental and physical health and emotional bond with the child. When kids are old enough, their own thoughts on the issue may carry a great deal of weight in family court.
In some cases, an employment schedule or other factors may lead to one parent having primary physical custody. Even in this case, visitation can be generous and allow for a substantial amount of time with the child, and it is a right that is legally enforceable.
Fathers may hold themselves back from seeking a divorce because they do not want to lose time with their children. A family law attorney may work with a divorcing father to negotiate a fair settlement, including a parenting plan addressing child custody and support.