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Fathers' Rights Archives

What role does paternity play in family law proceedings?

Paternity is the establishment of a man as a child's father. In Texas, there are a number of ways that paternity may be established, which can include through presumption based on the relationship of the child's mother and presumptive father, through acknowledgement by a presumptive father, or by testing to prove a biological connection between a presumptive father and child. When paternity is established, it opens up a wide door of legal rights and responsibilities for a man who is determined to be a child's parent.

Fathers' rights at the forefront of protest over rejected bill

There has been an inherent belief in Texas and throughout the U.S. that, except in extreme cases, a child who is at the center of a custody battle will generally be better served to live with the mother. This has been a frequent topic for disputes and fathers are trying to change that perception and state law to account for their rights. Custody issues can be complicated and those involving gender-based parenting decisions are at the top of the list.

What if there is mistaken paternity in Texas?

While it might seem that mistaken paternity is a rare occurrence in Texas, it can happen more frequently than most people realize. There are many reasons for this, but the crux of the matter is that men who thought they were the father of a child and were ordered to pay support might not have been obligated to do so. There are certain family law issues that center around disputes regarding paternity and all parties must be aware of them.

Legal help is essential when seeking fathers' rights

For a long time, when a couple shared children and was no longer together, an established perception in Texas and across the U.S. was that the mother would have custody and the fathers' rights were secondary. That is changing in a slow but sure manner. Fathers are increasingly pursuing their rights to have significant parenting time and even custody of children. Although times are different and the law is acting accordingly, that does not mean that family law issues are pushed aside and fathers are treated equally with mothers.

Ways to establish paternity and its importance in Texas

Paternity is one of the most common family law issues in Texas. It is important for both parents and the child that the paternity is known. This is so the mother will know who, along with her, is legally responsible for the child, the father can establish an all-encompassing relationship with the child, and the child will know who his or her biological father is. When the parents are not married to one another, the parents must be aware of how paternity can be established under the law.

Owing child support impairs fathers' rights and visitation

Fathers who owe child support visit their children less, work less and face other problems, according to a study published in the Journal of Marriage and Family in February. They may also be liable for criminal and civil penalties, such as having their vehicle registration renewals blocked in Texas and revocation or restriction of professional, occupational or recreational licenses, in many other states.

Proposed law would split child custody

Proponents of fathers' rights argue that divorced mothers receive a preference for child custody from family courts in Texas. Although a father may engage in costly and lengthy litigation, he may receive only visitation rights. A recently introduced bill may help provide equal footing for fathers.

Rethinking child custody and fathers' rights

Divorce rates spike in January in Texas and throughout the country. As a result, numerous decisions are made on the type of child custody and visitation schedules that are in the best interest of the child. However, these decisions have generally failed to account for the advantages of shared parenting.

How do visitation rights work?

In Texas, most child custody orders contain a standard possession order (SPO) setting forth each parent's visitation schedules or their time with their children. A basic SPO allows the parent without custody to have possession of the child at set times each month, on holidays and over the summer.