A current trend in family law is the rise of the “Fathers’ Rights” lawyer. These attorneys purport to offer some advantage to dads in cases that involve children. However, at Youngblood Law, PLLC, we reject this marketing ploy. Instead, we focus on the rights of each of our clients regardless of their plumbing. But what does the Texas Family Code say about “Fathers’ Rights?”
The Fathers’ Rights Ploy
Fundamentally, the origin of the Father’s Rights ploy stems from a position of fear. The idea presumes that fathers are disadvantaged in Texas family law cases. Certainly, many men believe that dads can’t get a fair shake in court. Some men believe mothers enjoy some advantage in court that must be overcome when it comes to the children. Either way, the assumption that the courts are out to get dads causes a knee-jerk reaction. Enter the Fathers’ Rights attorney. These lawyers seek to capitalize on the irrational fear of dads instead of educating clients about the law.
Youngblood Law, PLLC works with men and women clients, and we have seen everything. Some clients’ facts make winning cases easy. Likewise, we occasionally represent clients with terrible facts, and those cases are hard to win. Either way, we work to make the best of the situation for our clients, male or female.
Regardless of the details in our clients’ cases, we operate from a position of strength. The Texas Family Code presumes both parents should have plenty of access to the children. At Youngblood Law, PLLC, we carry our clients’ cases forward by employing the Family Code. We do not use the law differently for men or women; we do our best for every client. Our clients’ situations and desires drive our strategies, not their plumbing.
Fathers’ Rights and the Texas Family Code
The Texas Family Code shows no preference toward mothers or fathers. Texas Family Code section 153.002 states that at all times the best interest of the child must be the court’s primary consideration. Further, section 153.003 prevents the court from showing preference for the sex of the parties. So, it would be unlawful for the courts to discriminate against fathers. Thus the code creates a presumption of fairness. This is why we never fear going to court for men or women. We know a fair outcome is always possible and even likely.
Tender Years Doctrine
Many states including Texas once followed the “tender years doctrine.” This concept originated with the idea that mothers were best for children during the “tender years.” Specifically, this doctrine presumed children under three to be better off with their mother regardless of other facts. Texas rejected the tender years doctrine with the code provisions listed above. Now an infant baby will be placed with the parent best able to protect and provide for the child. The courts now look at facts, not genitalia to make custody decisions. That is the law.
Statistics and Reality
In Tarrant County, the statistics show that more moms get primary custody of the children than do fathers. How can this be? The Family Code forbids the courts from picking winners and losers based on sex, right? Is there a “Fathers’ Rights” crisis in Tarrant County?
The statistics fail to reflect several important considerations. First, most family law cases are settled by agreement. Many fathers agree to let the mom keep the kids primarily. Second, when parents separate, the dad frequently moves out voluntarily leaving the mother to care for the child primarily. In these cases, keeping the child with mom often makes sense. Third, dads who earn high wages often choose to pay child support rather than give up hours at work to care for the children each evening. Forth, some dads choose to focus on their weekend visits with the kids rather than their day-to-day care. Having fun weekends with the kids is time well spent for these dads.
There are many other reasons dads agree to give up primary custody of the kids. But these are not “Father’s Rights” dilemmas. In fact, when fathers choose to give mothers primary custody of the kids, isn’t that an expression of the fathers’ rights? Nevertheless, these agreed settlements contribute to the stats that tend to favor moms. Factoring in voluntary agreements by fathers largely dispels the myth that the odds are stacked against dads.
At Youngblood Law, PLLC, our experience with hundreds of cases shows us some truths generally. Fathers with competent lawyers often succeed in court. Fathers who represent themselves against attorneys representing moms do poorly in court. Many fathers agree to let mom have primary custody for a number of reasons. The tender years doctrine is dead, and there’s no “Fathers’ Rights” crisis. So, rather than seeking a lawyer selling “Fathers’ Rights” snake oil, find competent counsel. At Youngblood Law, PLLC, we focus on our clients’ cases, not their plumbing.
Youngblood Law, PLLC is a Fort Worth, Texas law firm dedicated to family law. We help working people through divorce, so they can start their new happily ever after. We also proudly offer the collaborative divorce process for our clients. This essay is intended for educational use only and is not a replacement for competent legal counsel. If you are facing a family law matter, we recommend obtaining competent legal counsel like Youngblood Law, PLLC. For more information, contact us at (817) 601-5345, find us on the web at youngblood-law.com.
Paul Youngblood #beforeyournext #lawfw #youngbloodlaw #collaborativedivorce #beingdivorceddoesntsuck