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Three things to know about father’s rights

As a father, facing a child custody proceeding can leave you feeling uncertain and even prematurely defeated about your future with your children. Old stereotypes may lead you to believe that Texas courts favor awarding mothers with sole or primary custody rights.

However, such misconceptions are both outdated and underestimate your own rights as a parent. Courts across the state favor encouraging the child’s relationship with both parents whenever possible, ultimately always acting in the best interests of the child. With this in mind, what should you know before facing the child custody process?

Paternity may need to be confirmed

Having your name on your child’s birth certificate is important to assert your parental rights. When a child’s parents are married, the husband is the presumed father. Otherwise, you may need to first prove your paternity before being able to pursue custody, child support and other parental rights. This can be proven in several ways, ultimately depending on whether the parents agree and are on amicable terms.

Prepare to negotiate with the other parent

Child custody is more than determining where your child will live. You will need to come to a decision on many important items, including:

  • Whether sole or joint custody will be granted
  • Where your child will reside
  • How your child will spend weekends, holidays, birthdays, school breaks and more
  • How transports of your child will occur
  • How issues like religion, education, healthcare and more will be decided

These issues can become quickly contentious. Be prepared to fight for what you want but realistically, both sides may have to compromise at some point. Keep the long-term best interests of your child in mind and focus on the core issues.

Maintain an active role in your child’s life

It is important throughout the custody proceeding to maintain an active role in your child’s life. Depending on your situation, things like taking your child to school, helping them adjust to a new lifestyle, attending school or social events and more are important to actively demonstrate your commitment to your child.

Custody proceedings are rarely enjoyable for anyone. As a father, head into the process with a goal of maintaining as active a presence as possible in your child’s life. Work with a lawyer who can be a strong advocate for you and ardently protect your parental rights.

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Denton, TX 76201

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