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Fathers fight for custody rights at Texas state capitol

On April 15, a group of Texas fathers went to the state capitol in support of a bill that would give judges the option of granting equal physical child custody in a divorce. One of the fathers supporting the bill says he has been fighting for more access to his young son for 10 years and that in the previous month, he saw him for only 48 hours.

Opponents of the bill say that an equal split will introduce too much disruption into a child's life. According to them, a child's best interests may be in conflict with the best interests of the child as they believe it is difficult for a child to go back and forth between both parents' homes. Furthermore, they say that it will introduce the opportunity for more litigation.

However, the man who is trying to get more custody rights to his son says he has maxed out his credit cards and emptied his retirement funds in the effort. According to the fathers supporting the bill, the best interests of the child are better served by equally sharing custody.

Sometimes in custody cases, a mother will be awarded custody because she is already the child's main caregiver. For example, a father may work to support the family and the mother may be a stay-at-home parent. A judge may decide that it would be disruptive for the child to not continue having a similar amount of time with the mother. However, a father may feel that having less access to the child is to the child's detriment. A father in such a situation may wish to work with a family law attorney in order to attempt to obtain a greater share of custody and visitation rights.

Source: CBS DFW, "Texas fathers take fight for equal custody to state capitol," J.D. Miles, April 15, 2015

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