Child custody battles are an unfortunate reality of many divorce cases. This is a particular concern for fathers who fear the courts will automatically side with their ex-spouse due to gender bias.
It is important for parents facing a child custody dispute to separate facts from myths.
Myth #1: Mothers always get custody
It is true that many court systems once placed children with their mothers by default. However, current Texas law emphasizes the importance of both parents sharing equal parental rights and responsibilities.
If the parents are unable to reach a joint agreement, the court decides based on the best interests of the children without regard to the gender of the parent.
Myth #2: Joint custody is always an equal split
While Texas law favors both parents playing an active role in their children’s lives, it also recognizes that constantly shuffling children between residences can be disruptive. In most cases, the judge will award one parent primary possession.
Myth #3: Your child can choose which parent to live with
Many parents believe that once their children reach the age of 12, they can choose which parent to live with. The court may consider the wishes of the child in its decision, but ultimately the judge will determine which parent to award possession to based on all the facts of the case.
Fathers going through a divorce understandably have concerns about how the divorce will affect their parental rights. The good news is that myths are the basis of many of these concerns. Current Texas law protects the rights of both parents.