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Father’s Custody Rights in Texas

Though technically equal under the law, fathers may face issues of bias in the court room. To learn more about father’s rights in Texas, call and set up a consultation with one of our experienced father’s rights attorneys today.

What constitutes a father in court?

Under chapter 160 of the Texas Family Code, also known as the Uniform Parentage Act, a father-child relationship is established by:

  • An unrebutted presumption of paternity;
    • A man is presumed to be the father if one of the following apply:
      • He is married to the mother of a child born during the marriage or before the 301st day after the marriage is terminated
      • He married the mother before the birth of the child
      • He married the mother after the birth of the child but voluntarily asserted his paternity
      • He continuously presided with the child for the first 2 years of life and held the child out to be his own
    • A judicial finding of paternity;
    • Adoption of the child; OR
    • Consent to assisted reproduction by a man’s wife resulting in childbirth

What is an acknowledgment of paternity?         

An acknowledgment of paternity is essentially a formal document meant to clear up any confusion as to issues of paternity of a child. It is an authenticated record signed by both the mother of the child and the man seeking to establish paternity over the child. It must state that the child whose paternity is being acknowledged either does not have a presumed father or has a presumed father whose name is stated in the document. Additionally, the document will state that the child does not have another acknowledged or adjudicated father.

What are a Father’s Rights in Texas?

Father’s child custody rights is a bit of a misnomer, as there are no formalized statutes laying out specialized rights for fathers alone. While fathers may find themselves at a disadvantage in a child custody proceeding, under the law, fathers have the same rights, duties, and obligations to their children as mothers.

Under §151.001 of the Texas Family Code, a parent of a minor child, unless limited by the court, has the right or duty to:

  • Have possession, direct moral or religious training, and designate the residence of the child
  • Care for, control, protect, and reasonably discipline their child
  • Support the child
  • Manage the estate of the child except when another guardian has been appointed
  • The services and earnings of the child
  • Consent to the child’s marriage or enlistment in the armed forces of the United States
  • Consent to medical, dental, psychiatric, psychological, and surgical care for the child
  • Represent the child in legal action
  • Receive child support payments
  • Inherit from and through the child
  • Make educational decisions for the child

Texas courts CANNOT consider gender in the formulation of conservatorship decisions and custody arrangements. Like mothers, fathers may petition for joint managing conservatorship or sole managing conservatorship and are subject to the same custodial arrangements as their female counterparts.

Contact a Child Custody Lawyer at Scroggins Law Group

Father’s custody rights have a lot of moving parts that can be confusing. When you find yourself facing these issues, reach out to an experienced child custody lawyer at Scroggins Family Law, PLLC.

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