Some fathers panic at the prospect of divorce. After all, don’t women
usually get custody of the children? Actually, both parents are equally
likely to get physical custody of their kids. Fathers are also likely
to be awarded total custody if the mother is found unfit to care for her
children. The modern court makes decisions regarding child custody and
child support based on what is in the best interest of the child. However,
there are some important facts to consider as a father going through a divorce.
All parents have a
right to see their children, whether they are fathers or mothers; however, the
amount you see them will depend on a number of factors, including whether
or not you have abused your child in the past. Even those parents prone
to violent behavior are, on occasion, granted supervised visitation time
with their child. Most children benefit from contact with both parents,
so the courts will do everything they can to foster a positive relationship
between parents and child.
If your child is biologically related to you, and you have legally declared
your paternity, you have the right to child custody and/ or visitation.
In cases with stepparents, however, there are more legal pitfalls if you
want more contact with your spouse’s child.
Some stepparents go through the process of adopting their stepchild, which
is essentially declaring you are responsible for that kid. However, if
they haven’t adopted their stepchild, they will have to petition
the court directly for their right to visit, or have custody of, that
child. If a judge sees that not interacting with the stepparent might
be emotionally disadvantageous or cruel, he or she might decide that person
has a right to see the child. In this case, the stepparent would have
to prove that he or she has been involved in that child’s life as
a parent for a significant period of time.
If the mother agrees to share child custody with you, you will be able
to share custody in exchange for child support. In some cases, mothers
will want stepfathers to stay involved in their children’s lives
because they understand that separating her children from their stepfather
might not be in the child’s best interest.
If you’re concerned about your position as a father, don’t
hesitate to call the
Law Office of Kathryn Marteeny. Our
Houston family law attorneys are dedicated to helping families in the area achieve their goals with
as little stress as possible. We have more than 30 years of combined experience
to offer your case. Let us see what we can do for you today.
Call us at (713) 936-2300 or
fill out our online form to schedule your free case consultation today.