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Why family law is not always fair

When Texas parents divorce, they may learn that the law is not always on their side. Issues such as child custody are not treated fairly in the courts, which means that incidents that seem like no-brainers can turn into family law issues.

Many states, including Texas, favor the biological parents, even when they are accused of drug or alcohol use. Even if Grandma ends up caring for the kids and establishing a bond with them, grandparents' rights are not always a given. Once Mom and Dad clean up their act, they can get possession of their children again, even if the grandparents were caretakers for many years. If the parents never relinquished custody of the children to someone else, then they are still the children's legal parents. In a custody battle between the parents and grandparents, the parents will almost always win.

Another example is with blended families. For example, a woman with two children from a previous relationship marries a man. The children are young and have no memory of their biological father. The woman and her new husband have two children of their own. A few years later, they divorce. Will the man get any sort of custody or visitation rights over the women's children � two kids he practically raised? The answer is no, because he is not their biological father.

There are lessons to be learned from these examples. It's important to do whatever the law dictates must be done. The grandparents could have filed for adoption and not have had to deal with the devastation of having her grandchild taken away after the many years she spent caring for her. The same goes for the stepfather. He could have filed for adoption as well and maintained rights to custody.

Those who are facing child custody issues should learn more about their rights. Don't lose out on being able to gain access to children and grandchildren without a fight.

Source: Huffington Post, "The 'F' Word in Family Law" Natalie Gregg, Dec. 03, 2013

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