Texas fathers tend to be far more involved in their children’s lives than men of previous generations. However, family law norms have not been as quick to catch up with changing societal expectations. When it comes to child custody and support, many fathers feel as if they are not treated fairly by the courts.
In the United States, mothers comprise 80 percent of parents with primary custody. This leaves most fathers left with not only less time to see their children, but with child support bills that they may not be able to pay. A pediatrician and father who was interviewed for a CNN report said that he had been jailed when he was unable to afford the child support as ordered by the court. As a result, he was fired from the medical practice he worked at and had to declare bankruptcy. Earning approximately $100 in a single month, he owes $680,000 in back child support.
Another father talked with the news agency about what he says is an unfair custody arrangement. He was not married to his child’s mother and was later not put on the birth certificate. Although he now has visitation, he only sees his child four nights in a single month and has not been successful in getting any more time.
Family law issues can be complicated, and many Texas fathers feel helpless in the face of what they feel is an unfair child custody or support arrangement. In such cases, it is important to approach the court and petition for a modification of a current order. This is especially important when dealing with child support, as modifications are generally not back-dated.