Texas is a community property state, and courts will generally divide marital assets equally as part of a divorce. However, there is no such law that requires that two parents be granted equal time with their children. Many men feel that courts are still biased in favor of mothers, despite the fact that research has shown that children benefit from having both parents in the picture. Some men, like one Texas father fighting for custody of his 12-year-old son, will specifically look for law firms that represent only men. However, even law firms that represent both men and women may understand the importance of trying to obtain a co-parenting arrangement.
Fathers’ emotional and physical connections with their children are important for their children’s healthy development. Some states are researching potential legislation that would urge family law judges to consider joint parenting to be in the best interests of the children of divorce. No state is currently seen as being particularly revolutionary in terms of fathers’ rights.
The co-founder of one law firm says that fathers have to be proactive if they want time with their children, especially if they were not married to the mother at the time of the children’s birth. Although the fight for fathers’ rights continues, studies show that there has been a significant change in the number of fathers being awarded joint custody in the past two decades. A study of Wisconsin cases showed that from 1986 to 2008 the instances of equal parenting time increased from 5 percent to 27 percent, and the number of cases where fathers were granted unequal but shared custody rose from 3 percent to 18 percent.
More fathers are also choosing to be stay-at-home dads, and others are becoming the stay-at-home parent after losing their jobs in a rough economy. Fathers who want to ensure that they will continue to have time with their children after a divorce or a separation may want to seek the help of a family law attorney.
Source: USA Today , “More dads demand equal custody rights“, Sharon Jayson, June 14, 2014