If you are going through a divorce, it’s important to know fact from myth. As a father, you should know what your rights are to get the most significant amount of custodial or visitation time with your child/children. 1. Myth or Fact about fathers’ rights in divorce: Fathers must move out of the family residence when a divorce is filed. MYTH. There is no set rule of law about this. Generally speaking, possession of the family residence during the pendency of a divorce case is based on practical matters, such as which parent can best afford to stay there and where the children will be primarily living. Sometimes the children “get” the house and the parents move in and out on some arranged schedule.
2. Myth or Fact about fathers’ rights in divorce: Fathers never get primary custody of the children. MYTH. Texas statutes include a law requiring that a court must determine the terms and conditions of conservatorship and possession of a child without regard to the gender of the parent or the marital status of the parent. Gone are the days when Dad had to remarry after divorce – so there would be a woman in the house – to have a chance of getting custody of his children. Gone are the days when there had to be something material wrong with Mom for Dad to get custody. The decision is required by law to be based only on what would be in the best interest of the children. 3. Myth or Fact about fathers’ rights in divorce: Fathers are not automatically allowed normal possession/visitation rights with infants or children younger than three. FACT. This is an evolving issue in family law, progressively trending toward recognition of the importance of fathers playing a complete role in the lives of their children, regardless of age. Whereas visitation with the very young children used to be limited to a few hours here and there, now the law sets out a long list of factors the judge must carefully consider before handing down a possession order. It has become increasingly common for fathers to have a standard possession order, regardless of the age of the child. 4. Myth or Fact about fathers’ rights in divorce: Fathers will be ordered to give their wives half of their income while the divorce is pending. MYTH. Both spouses have a statutory duty to support one another, but there are no set standards on what that means. It is up to the judge to allocate all of the income assets of the family among the parties as fairly as possible during the pendency of the divorce case, taking all children into account. Often the income of the parties is insufficient to meet all of their respective needs and those of the children. Some people mistakenly believe if they can show the court that they need the money, the judge can order their spouses to pay more than is available to them. Similarly, some mistakenly believe if the father makes more money than is needed to provide for everyone, that the excess has to be divided between the spouses as it is earned by the father. There are many things about divorce which are nothing more than urban myth. Contact one of our Board Certified family law attorneys at MyFamilyLawyer.net to get your questions answered.