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Barbara L. Jouette, Attorney, P.C.
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Proposed law could be boon for fathers seeking fair custody terms

In a recent news story, a 37-year-old father who lives in Texas made an interesting observation. He pointed out that when you divorce, everything is divided evenly; everything that is but parenting time. The man says that thus far he has shelled out in the neighborhood of $80,000 in the last four years in an effort to secure more child custody time with his 10-year-old son whom he had in a previous marriage.

This is not an uncommon problem. Often, judges will award a mother custody of the children and just leave the father with visitation rights. But the 37-year-old father, along with others, are hoping a new bill passes that will level the child custody playing field in Texas.

House Bill 453 calls for divorcing mothers and fathers to receive equal custody rights. The father maintains that the bill will in no way be detrimental to the child and it does not in any way address the issue of child support.

To date, five states have similar laws on the books. But one former Dallas County family law judge does not care for the proposed mandate. She asserts that every custody case is unique. As such, she does not think that decisions regarding children should be taken out of the hands of judges.

Time will tell if Texas will adopt the proposed law that would definitely offer fathers greater leverage when battling in court for fair custody terms. But in the meantime, if you are attempting to maximize the amount of time you can spend with your child, a Texas family law attorney may be able to provide you with assistance. Your best chance at getting favorable terms is to have them as part of your parenting plan. An attorney can help you negotiate a satisfactory custody schedule.

Source: WFAA-TV, "Texas fathers fight for equal custody law at legislature," Jason Whitely, Feb 9, 2017

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