Fathers in Texas who are going through a divorce may be worried that judges will be biased against them if they are seeking child custody. Traditionally, the family arrangement was usually that the mother took care of the children while the father worked outside the home. If parents divorced, courts usually assumed that the situation should continue that way and gave custody to the mother.
While times and ideas about mothers and fathers have changed, some fathers may still worry that they might be at a disadvantage in a custody case. There may still be an assumption that they are not nurturing, do not know enough about how to care for children or do not have time for childcare. Courts are supposed to base their custody decisions on the best interests of the child, and some may assume that being with the mother is in the child’s best interests. However, courts should focus on other criteria to determine the child’s best interests, such as the relationship each parent has with the child and how well each parent communicates with the child.
This does not mean that fathers cannot be awarded custody. Working with an attorney who supports their custody bid, fathers might be able to gather evidence to show the strength of their relationship with the child.
Not every child custody case ends up in court. Parents may be able to reach an agreement in which the father has custody or the parents share equal custody. Making this agreement without going to court can help parents ease into a more functional co-parenting relationship. However, even if there is a custody dispute that a judge has to make a decision about, parents can still work together healthily as co-parents. In both cases, they can create a parenting agreement that addresses any concerns about how they will raise the child.