If you're hoping to get custody of your children, and you're a dad, you may worry that Texas courts will favor the mother in your case. While there is a general concern of gender bias -- in other words, a concern that courts are more likely to award child custody to mothers -- fathers who approach their child custody cases in the right way may not need to worry about this.
Here are three things fathers can do to improve their chances of getting child custody:
Learn about child custody types and the law: Fathers need to know the difference between physical custody and legal custody. Physical custody refers to who the child lives with and legal custody refers to who makes decisions about the child's life. A parent with full physical custody will have the child living with him or her all of the time, and with joint physical custody the child will live with him or her only part of the time.
Work diplomatically with the other parent: There is a trend to award shared or joint physical custody to parents these days -- especially if the parents can show they get along. Courts want to make sure that the joint physical custody does not leave the children exposed to constant fighting and angry behavior.
Realize that courts don't discriminate: Courts may not discriminate against dads, but if you look at the statistics related to court decisions, you might think so. The fact is, courts often award child custody based on who was the primary care provider for the children. As such, if you want partial or full custody of your child, it's important that you're able to document how you served as a caretaker for your child or children before separating from your ex. A daily child care diary is excellent for documenting these activities.
Fathers who want to secure child custody can get help from an experienced family law attorney. A lawyer will help to protect a father's parental rights.
Source: The Spruce, "Factors Used to Determine Child Custody for Fathers," Debrina Washingon, accessed Sep. 14, 2017