Texas Child Custody Myths
Texas child custody disputes can be emotionally charged and legally complex. Further, the challenges presented by custody cases are often exacerbated by parents relying on myths and misconceptions. If you are involved in a custody dispute, it is important to consult an attorney to discuss Texas child custody myths so that you can better understand your parental rights and the process of determining custody. The skilled Dallas child custody attorneys of McClure Law Group are proficient at helping people protect their interests in custody matters, and if you engage our services, we will advise you of what measures you can take to protect your custody rights.Texas Child Custody Myths The Courts Favor Mothers in Child Custody Cases
One of the most prevailing Texas child custody myths is that the courts automatically favor mothers over fathers when determining custody rights. This is untrue, however, as the Texas Family Code (the Code) expressly states that when determining conservatorship rights and the right to possession of and access to the child, the courts should consider only the parties’ qualifications, not their sex or the sex of the child in question. Further, the Code dictates that the courts must prioritize the child’s best interest above all else when making custody determinations, which generally means they will consider each parent’s ability to care for the child and provide a stable environment and the child’s relationship with each parent. Typically, the courts strive to ensure that both parents have the opportunity to maintain meaningful relationships with their children.Joint Custody Means Equal Parenting Time
Another common misconception in Texas child custody cases is that joint custody automatically implies an equal division of parenting time. In reality, joint legal custody, which is referred to as "joint managing conservatorship" in Texas, refers to the sharing of decision-making authority regarding the child's care and upbringing. The right to possession of and access to the child, on the other hand, refers to the right to spend time with a child. The courts evaluate custody matters on a case-by-case basis and will set forth parenting plans that they believe are in the child’s best interest. As stated in the Code, though, granting joint managing conservatorship rights does not require the court to award equal or nearly equal rights with regard to physical possession of and access to the child.The Courts Permit Older Children to Choose Which Parent to Live With
Many believe that once children reach a certain age, they have the right to choose which parent they want to live with. Under Texas law, however, there is no fixed age at which a child's preference becomes determinative. While the Code permits the courts to consider a child’s preference with regard to which parent they reside with, the courts ultimately make custody determinations based on the child's best interests, considering factors such as the child's maturity level, their reasons for the preference, and the parents' ability to meet the child's needs.Parents Who Don’t Have Child Custody Rights Don't Have to Pay Child Support
Many people in Texas mistakenly believe that parents who do not have custody rights do not have to pay child support. Texas law requires both parents to financially support their children, however, regardless of whether they are non-custodial. Child support obligations are determined based on various factors, including each parent’s income, the number of children involved, and the parents' financial responsibilities.Child Custody Orders Cannot Be Modified
Some people think that child custody orders dictate permanent rights and obligations. Fortunately, however, Texas law recognizes that circumstances may change over time, and child custody orders can be modified if it is in the best interests of the child. A party seeking a modification typically must show that a substantial change in circumstances, such as a parent's relocation, a child's changing needs, or a parent's inability to meet the child's needs, warrants a modification of the custody order.Confer With a Capable Dallas Attorney
It is crucial for parents contending with custody battles to understand the truth behind common Texas child custody myths so that they can make informed decisions and advocate for their child’s best interests. If you are interested in learning more about the child custody process, it is smart to confer with an attorney as soon as possible. The capable Dallas child custody attorneys of McClure Law Group have ample experience helping people protect their interests in custody disputes, and if we represent you, we will advocate aggressively on your behalf. We frequently represent clients in Dallas, Richardson, McKinney, Rockwall, Irving, Fort Worth, Garland, Frisco, and other cities within Dallas, Rockwall, Grayson, Collin, Denton, and Tarrant Counties. To set up a meeting, you can contact us via our online form or by calling us at 214.692.8200.