When an unmarried father establishes his parental rights in Texas and elsewhere, this involves much more than just custodial rights. While it is important to focus on the physical time a parent has with a child, it is also important to consider the financial side of things. With child custody comes child support. And while this is important to fulfill this financial obligation, it may prove to be difficult to continue to meet this obligation.
Getting a divorce can make anyone's world spin. Whether it is a contested divorce or not, the process itself can cause many changes and concerns. And for Texas parents getting a divorce, this means determining a custody arrangement that benefits and child. It can be difficult to work through custody matters, often causing it to be a difficult and contentious divorce issue.
For unmarried parents, it can be challenging to address custody matters if the relationship is severed. Whether it was a cordial parting or a very hostile or abusive situation, it is important that both mothers and fathers take the time to explore their rights. Rights are automatically bestowed upon the unmarried mother; however, an unmarried father in Texas and other states must take steps to establish parental rights.
Although many decide to have child following marriage, the reality is that many decide to have children without taking that legal step. Unmarried parents are more and more common; however, just like married parents, unmarried parents experience rough points in their relationships. When this occurs, they may decide it is best to part ways. Whether parents were together for a small portion or several years of their child's life, the reality is that they will need to address custody issues if the father seeks to obtain paternal rights.
Fathers in Texas love their children, even if they are no longer in a relationship with the child's mother. Seeking fathers' rights over child custody may be very complicated. There are even more obstacles if the parents are unwed.
Courts have traditionally awarded primary custody, in most cases, to mothers because of a lingering belief that mothers are better caregivers. Based in part on the work of fathers' rights groups, however, at least 20 states considered new laws this year that encourage shared custody. Some of these bills also designate this custody as the legal premise for custody decisions that an objecting parent would have to contest.
In the past, courts held a bias in child custody decisions for the mother. However, Texas and other states provide equal fathers' rights for custody.
A rare but notable issue regarding fathers' rights is adoption challenges and notification of birth fathers when the child's mother is relinquishing the child. Dallas residents may be interested to hear that a bill introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives would connect the 34-state voluntary responsible fatherhood registries with the Federal Parental Locator Service.
Divorce or the break-up of a domestic relationship is, almost invariably, an emotionally difficult process. As a couple begins to understand that the future is going to hold something different than they had likely foreseen, each one may lash out in anger or frustration, creating more problems than there may have been previously. When children are in involved, this can be even worse, as parents may end up using the kids, even unintentionally, as pawns or wedges in an attempt to hurt the other former partner. When this happens, Texas fathers may end up with legal questions about how they are going to continue having a relationship with their children.
Being a parent is a special role, and often brings with it numerous emotions, both positive and negative. On one hand, a parent can feel proud, happy and excited at the love and possibilities a child brings into the world. On the other, there can be uncertainty, anxiety and doubt about how to go about caring for such a fragile being, and what difficulties may appear in the future.