Fathers' Rights

Plano, TX Fathers’ Rights Lawyer

Attorney Serving Fathers in Paternity and Child Custody Cases in Collin County

In the past, traditional American family structures tended to assign mothers the primary responsibility for raising their children. As such, they were often favored in legal child custody decisions in Texas and throughout the U.S. However, these views are now largely outdated, and Texas laws have been updated to reflect changing norms. As a father, you have the same rights in Texas family law proceedings as your child's mother, but you may need to take additional steps to secure and protect them.

At the Law Office of Brian Bagley, we understand how important it is for many single fathers to be involved in their children's lives. We put our 12 years of family law experience to work helping unmarried fathers establish paternity, as well as helping divorced and unmarried fathers alike secure fair child custody arrangements. If you need an attorney to help you protect your rights and your child's best interests, we are ready to take your case.

Arrange for a confidential consultation with our Plano fathers’ rights attorney by using our convenient contact form or by calling (972) 843-7158

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What Are a Father’s Rights & Responsibilities?

Establishing paternity by presumption, acknowledgment, or adjudication means that you become legally obligated to provide financial support for your child. If you are not married to your child's mother, you may be expected to make court-ordered child support payments until your child becomes an adult. The same is true if you are currently married to your child's mother but later get a divorce.

Fathers with legal paternity in Texas also have the right to pursue custody and visitation of their children, either immediately after the establishment of paternity for unmarried fathers or in the event of a divorce for married fathers. 

Importantly, Texas law does not discriminate based on a parent's gender when making child custody decisions but focuses on terms that are in the child's best interests. This means that you could be granted sole managing conservatorship, joint managing conservatorship, or possessory conservatorship of your child, depending on the circumstances.

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Hear From Our Clients in Their Own Words
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    "While divorce is certainly not an easy process for anyone, having a compassionate lawyer helps smooth the process along immensely. Brian was certainly that person for me."

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    "Brian has been amazing, to say the least. He is very responsive, easy to talk to, strategic, and a rockstar in the courtroom during litigation."

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How to Protect Your Rights as a Father During Your Divorce

As a father, you may struggle against stereotypes when you get divorced. Mothers are typically seen as the parents who are primarily responsible for childcare and household responsibilities, and you may feel that you are not afforded the same consideration.

Even if you have taken an active role in caring for your children, you may worry that you will be portrayed as a “deadbeat dad” and denied the ability to continue to be closely involved in your children’s lives. During the divorce process, it is important to work with an attorney who can help protect your father’s rights.

Fathers’ Rights in Divorce Cases Under Texas Law

Texas law defines several different rights and responsibilities that apply to parents. These include:

  • The right to “physical possession” of a child, which is also known as visitation or physical custody, as well as the right to decide where a child lives
  • The right to make decisions about a child’s education and their moral and religious training
  • The duty to provide a child with care, protection, and discipline
  • The duty to provide financial support for a child, including food, clothing, shelter, education, and medical care

The divorce laws in Texas are gender-neutral, meaning that they do not give preference to either mothers or fathers in matters related to child custody. Because of this, divorce cases should place parents on an equal standing, without the presumption that either parent should have primary legal or physical custody of their children. 

The law presumes that divorcing parents will be “joint managing conservators” of their children, meaning that they will equally share in decisions about how their children should be raised (commonly known as “legal custody”).

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