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Dads: Make sure you understand your child custody rights

There is a lot of uncertainty that comes with filing for divorce. You may not be sure whether you will have to pay spousal support or if keeping the family home is a good idea. But like other fathers in Texas, you might worry that child custody already has a certain outcome. Many people believe that mothers are automatically granted primary custody, but as a father you have rights.

It is true that moms used to be automatically favored over dads during custody matters. Family law courts now acknowledge how important it is for children to still have access to both parents and the ability to maintain close relationships. This means that many divorced parents now share joint custody, with each having equal parenting time.

Since some custody arrangements are made outside of the courtroom through mediation or negotiation, you should understand your parental rights. Your ex-spouse may try to offer you visitation rights or limited parenting time. As an advocate for your child's best interests, it is important to push back on custody arrangements that do not reflect those interests or your rights.

If you and your ex cannot come to an agreement on your own, you can head to court where a family court judge will do so. However, since you and your ex are most familiar with your child's needs and schedule, you may be hesitant to head straight to court. So whether you need guidance while negotiating a child custody agreement on your own or want experienced help in court, you can find out more about your rights under Texas law right here.

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