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San Antonio Fathers’ Rights Lawyer

Bexar County fathers' rights lawyer

What Are My Rights As A Father In San Antonio?

Children deserve to have close, continuing relationships with their parents, regardless of whether parents are married, divorced, unmarried, or separated. When a couple is no longer together, both parents should be able to remain closely involved in their children's lives. However, fathers may struggle to maintain positive relationships with their children, and when addressing issues related to child custody, they can sometimes feel sidelined and treated as the "lesser" parent. Fortunately, fathers have rights, and by taking the correct steps with the help of a family law attorney, they can ensure that they will be able to be a strong, supportive presence in their children's lives.

The law firm of Brandon Wong & Associates believes in protecting the rights of fathers and helping families find child custody solutions that will provide for children's best interests. We work to facilitate a stable environment for children that will allow them to build and maintain lasting relationships with both parents. We can help fathers negotiate child custody agreements that will allow them to work together peacefully and respectfully with their co-parents to raise their children. If necessary, we may also advocate for a father to maintain primary or sole custody if that would be the most beneficial solution to protect his children's best interests.

What Fathers Need to Know About Their Parental Rights

In the past, family courts would often grant sole or primary custody of children to the mother in a divorce, while allowing the father to have visitation time. These solutions may have been appropriate in situations where a mother was a homemaker who was primarily responsible for managing childcare and household responsibilities, while a father was a family's primary breadwinner who spent less time at home. However, these arrangements are far less common than they once were.

In most of today's families, mothers and fathers play an equal role in earning income, addressing financial responsibilities, caring for children, and managing household duties. The approach taken by family courts has changed to address this new reality. In Texas, the laws addressing child custody are gender-neutral. Mothers are no longer presumed to be the primary parent, and fathers have equal rights and responsibilities toward their children.

Even with these changes, some fathers may feel that they are at a disadvantage in family law cases. They may worry that they will be portrayed as someone who is not as interested in their kids' lives or who is focused on work-related responsibilities rather than caring for their children. However, fathers deserve to be able to spend time with their children and take an active role in their upbringing. Most of the time, fathers will be able to share joint legal custody (conservatorship) of their children, and even if they do not have an equal amount of parenting time, they will be able to have regular visitation time in which children will stay with them in their homes.

Our attorneys provide support for fathers from when a child is born until they reach adulthood. For unmarried fathers, we can help establish paternity so that the foundation of their rights is not in question. We can help unmarried and divorcing fathers create workable child custody agreements, as well as fair child support orders that properly reflect their financial situations. We can also offer continued support as needed, including assisting with modifications of child custody based on changes in a family's circumstances, enforcement of visitation orders, or responding to parental relocation requests.

Fathers' Rights FAQs


What Are Fathers’ Rights?

Answer: Fathers’ rights in Texas are a crucial aspect of family law. The state recognizes the importance of a father’s involvement in a child’s life and aims to protect these rights. In Texas, fathers have the right to seek custody or visitation rights, regardless of their marital status. However, it is essential to note that the court’s primary concern is the child’s best interests. To secure fathers’ rights, it is crucial to establish paternity, maintain a healthy relationship with the child, and actively participate in their upbringing.


How Are a Father’s Rights to Child Custody and Visitation Determined?

Answer: In Texas, a father’s rights to child custody and visitation are determined based on the best interests of the child. The court considers several factors when making these decisions, including the child’s emotional and physical needs, the ability of each parent to provide for the child, and the parent’s relationship with the child, as well as any history of domestic violence or abuse. Fathers need to establish paternity if they have not already and to actively participate in their child’s life to strengthen their case for custody or visitation rights.


How Can Fathers Ensure Custody?

Answer: While there are no guarantees, there are steps fathers can take in Texas to give themselves the best chance at obtaining custody. First, establishing paternity is crucial, as it solidifies legal recognition as the child’s parent. Maintaining a strong and positive relationship with the child is also essential, since it can demonstrate the father’s commitment and involvement. Being consistent in your child’s life, such as by attending school events or medical appointments, can further strengthen the case for custody. You can also gather evidence that showcases your ability to provide a safe and stable environment for the child.


Do I Have Any Rights as an Unmarried Father?

Answer: You will need to establish paternity if you wish to obtain and legally protect your rights as your child’s father. Once paternity is established, you have the right to seek custody or visitation with your child.


If a Father Surrenders His Parental Rights, Does He Still Have to Pay Child Support?

Answer: In Texas, surrendering parental rights does not automatically absolve a father of his child support obligations. Terminating parental rights severs the legal relationship between the father and the child, and in most cases, this will also end the father’s financial obligations. Most of the time, a father’s rights may be terminated if the child will be adopted by another party, such as a step-parent. In certain situations, such as when parental rights are terminated because a father is incarcerated or deemed unfit, a court may require the father’s financial obligations to continue.


Are Custody Evaluations and Guardians Ad Litem of Benefit to Fathers?

Answer: Custody evaluations and guardian ad litem (GAL) appointments can benefit fathers in Texas. These processes aim to assess the child’s best interests objectively during custody disputes. Evaluations involve comprehensive assessments of the parents, child, and their relationship, while GALs advocate for the child’s welfare. Both procedures can help ensure that a father’s voice is heard and his rights are protected. However, outcomes can vary from case to case, and the effectiveness of these measures will depend on the specific circumstances and the professionals involved.


How Do I Establish Paternity?

Answer: If parents are unmarried at the time of the child’s birth, paternity can be established through an Acknowledgement of Paternity (AOP) form signed by both parents. This form can be completed at the hospital or later at the Office of the Attorney General. If there is a paternity dispute, the court can order genetic testing.


Do the Courts Favor Mothers in Custody Cases?

Answer: Contrary to what many believe, courts do not have a legal bias toward mothers or against fathers in child custody cases. Custody determinations are based on what is best for the child, and mothers and fathers are treated equally under the law.


What if My Child’s Mother Does Not Follow Our Agreement?

Answer: First, document any instances where your child custody agreement has been violated, including dates, times, and specific details. Then, try to communicate with the mother to resolve the issue amicably. If that fails, you may need to seek legal intervention. You may decide to file a motion for enforcement with the court that issued the custody order. The court can enforce the agreement, and it may impose penalties on the non-compliant parent.


Can My Child’s Last Name Be Changed?

Answer: Yes. To accomplish this, you must file a petition with the appropriate court or office, notify the other parent, and receive a court order approving the change. You will also be required to file the name change in the country the child lives in.


Can My Ex Move Away With My Kids?

Answer: In Texas, if you have a custody agreement in place, your ex cannot move away with your kids without first obtaining permission from the court. If your ex wishes to relocate, they must contact you and provide a written notice of their intent to move. You have the right to contest the relocation, or you may work together with your ex to reach an agreement on how your child custody agreement will be modified. When determining whether to approve a relocation request, the court will consider whether the move would be in the child’s best interest.


Do Fathers Have the Right to See Their Child’s School and Medical Records?

Answer: If the father shares legal custody or parental rights, he will typically be able to see his child’s school and medical records. In cases where a custody agreement or court order is in place, the specific terms in the agreement will dictate the extent of a father’s right to access these records. A father’s right to access these records will usually only be limited if there are concerns about a child’s safety and well-being, such as in cases involving allegations of family violence or child abuse. If a couple is unmarried and paternity has not been established, a father may be unable to access the child’s school and medical records without permission from the other parent.

Contact Our Bexar County Fathers' Rights Attorneys

Our attorneys are award-winning legal advocates who believe in the importance of both mothers and fathers alike. We can help fathers remain vigilant as they seek to protect their parental rights, and we can provide guidance on the best ways to address legal issues in a way that will protect children's best interests. To get the legal representation you need in your family law case, contact our office today by calling 210-201-3832 and scheduling an appointment with an experienced lawyer.

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