When a Texas marriage ends in divorce, many fathers fear losing regular access to their children. For dads who are used to interacting with their kids on a daily basis, the risk of transitioning into the role of an every-other-weekend visitor is frightening. Many unhappy spouses put off filing for divorce for fear of losing access to their kids, and spend years in an unhappy and unfulfilling union in order to prevent such a loss. However, there are strategies that fathers can use to ensure a favorable outcome in a child custody battle.
Perhaps the most important piece of advice involves leaving the topic of child support out of any discussion of child custody. In many cases, fathers are the party ordered to pay child support to help cover the costs of raising their child or children. When child support is brought into a child custody conversation, it can be easy to make the assumption that the father is only seeking a greater share of custody in order to reduce his monthly payment amount.
Another helpful tip is to take the time to graph out the parenting schedule. It may sound like an unnecessary step, but actually plotting out the visitation schedule on paper can help both parties gain a better understanding of what the parenting time breakdown would look like. In some cases, fathers can go from seven to 12 days without spending time with their kids. Virtually no one could argue that this breakdown of parenting time is fair or best for anyone involved.
When facing a child custody battle, it is important for Texas fathers to fight for the right to remain a vital part of their kids’ lives. Multiple studies show that remaining connected to both parents following a divorce is the best scenario for children. Establishing one’s parental rights is the best way to ensure that both parents and children able to sustain a loving and involved relationship, even after the parents have separated.
Source: Huffington Post, “Custody Battles: The Top Five Things Dads Should Know Before Setting Foot in Court,” Morghan Leia Richardson, May 23, 2013