Father’s Rights in Texas

childPreserving Texas Fathers’ Custody Rights is a top priority at Reeves Law Firm. The parent-child relationship plays an important role in healthy child development.  In most cases, children love and need both parents over a lifetime, whether the parents are happily married, unhappily married, separated, divorced or were never together beyond conception. If you are approaching a Texas divorce or are engaged in a child custody dispute, you are well-advised to seek out a family law attorney who understands your position and is prepared to advocate zealously on behalf of you and your children. Schedule a Complimentary Consultation Regarding Fathers’ Visitation Rights With Plano Divorce and Child Custody Attorney Roy Reeves.

A Father, whether divorced, separated, or single is entitled to a relationship with his children including:
The right to enjoy rewarding bonds with their children, in spite of a broken relationship with the mother
The right to have an ongoing strong bond and relationship with the child including access, possession, visitation and/or custody.  This means that in Texas, a father has a fair chance of winning child custody and is almost guaranteed reasonable access and visitation if he only asks.
The right to pay no more than what is required in child support or to receive a fair amount of child support from the mother if circumstances warrant such payments.
Somewhere along the timeline of civilization a rumor got started that a Mother has rights when a child is born and a father must go to Court and ask for his rights – unless the mother just agrees to give the man some rights. I don’t know where this theory or rumor started, but I do know that it is absolutely wrong. Parental rights are inherent and there is no Court intervention necessary, rather parental rights arise by nature at the time the child is born and they arise in BOTH the mother and the father. One may go so far as to say Parental rights are in the DNA.

However, it is important to note that while the rights exist by nature, enforcement may be an entirely different proposition. By way of example, lets go back to the common scenario based on the misconception described above:

A child is born out of wedlock and the mother and father are not on the best of terms. Generally speaking, the father is usually not a large part of the child´s life until one day he decides he wants to know his child and that is when the mother states “You have no rights.” or some similar words. Dad calls the cops for help getting his child and the cops merely advise that “This is a domestic issue, you have to go to court.”

This is more a matter of practicallity than law. Perhaps it is the locus of the erroneous rumors; however it is merely the police officer taking the path of least resistence. Keep in mind, a police officer´s job is to protect and serve the public, it is not the police officer´s job to act as a judge, settle disputes between parents, or get involved in your “personal affairs”. However, when you do go to Court, your custody orders should always contain an Order from the Court to any peace officer stating that he or she may take whatever reasonable measures are necessary to affect the orders. This is known as the Writ of Attachment – it gives the police officer power to get involved in your “personal affairs” only to the extent necessary to enforce the orders of the Court. More important to the officer, this Writ gives the officer protection. In other words, a police officer has no power to get involved until a Judge says he/she can and if the officer exceeds his/her authoirty, the officer may be sued or reprimanded. But if the officer has the authority of the Judge, the officer cannot be sued or punished by the administration.