I have helped fathers gain shared or joint custody of their children in most of these cases. However, there are other cases where fathers have told me they want to pursue full custody of their child.
You might be in the same situation where you want to know what your chances are of receiving full custody. While this is difficult, it is not impossible! Let’s review what it takes for a father to gain full custody in Texas.
What the Law Says About Full Custody in Texas
During child custody proceedings, Texas family courts are guided by the Texas Family Code to prefer that both parents share custody of the child. This way, each parent can participate in the child’s upbringing, have a meaningful relationship with the child, and have a fair amount of time with the child.
However, the courts will always go back to a central factor about the child’s well-being to help determine whether joint custody is the right option. Texas Family Code states that “the best interest of the child shall always be the primary consideration of the court in determining the issues of conservatorship and possession of and access to the child.”
As a result, Texas law does allow for one parent to pursue what’s known as sole managing conservatorship of a child. In this case, the court must determine that appointing both parents as managing conservators of the child “would significantly impair the child’s physical health or emotional development.”
The challenge for fathers is proving that they should have sole custody of their child with no involvement from the child’s mother.
What Makes it Hard for a Father to Gain Full Custody in Texas?
When making a child custody determination, a judge will evaluate certain factors about each parent to help make the best decision that supports the child. This includes weighing the “qualifications of the parties” regardless of their gender.
The challenge for fathers to gain full custody is that you must present both a very strong argument about your qualifications and a very strong argument against the mother’s qualifications. This can be difficult to achieve, however, it is doable. Consider a sample of evidence that you will need to present to the court.
Evidence to support your qualifications:
- Proof of a steady job and income
- Home/apartment/other dwelling place registered in your name
- Proof of a positive home environment for your child
- Reasonable childcare available for your child while you are at work
- Ability to provide your child with access to education
- Support system (e.g., grandparent or significant other) that can support you as a parent
- Eyewitness or reliable third-party accounts to support your credentials and character
- No history of contributing to family violence or abuse involving the child
- No outstanding warrants for your arrest or a history of arrests
- Other evidence pertinent to your case
Evidence against the mother’s qualifications:
- Records of abuse or neglect toward the child
- Documented history of psychiatric or mental health issues
- Proof that the mother is unable to provide a safe, stable home environment
- Arrests or other police investigations related to the mother
- A statement from the child (if over the age of 12) expressing their preference for custody
- Testimony from eyewitnesses or other parties related to the mother’s qualifications
Evidence in your favor or against the mother must be presented carefully and clearly. Your goal is not to denigrate the mother or “pile on” to receive full custody; you want to clearly state facts and present information that positions you in the best positive light to help your case.
I can help you by providing expert legal support and representation. I’ll review the facts of the case and help you form strong arguments that support your desire to receive full custody of your child. This will place you in the best possible position to be considered for full custody.
Your Rights and Responsibilities if Granted Full Custody
If you successfully win full custody of your child, you will have certain rights and responsibilities related to your child’s upbringing. Texas law states that a parent appointed as sole managing conservator of a child has these exclusive rights and duties:
- Designate the child’s primary residence
- Consent to medical, dental, and surgical treatment involving invasive procedures
- Consent to psychiatric and psychological treatment for the child
- Control monetary disbursements to support the child
- Represent the child in legal action
- Make legal decisions on behalf of the child
- Consent to marriage for the child (e.g., underage marriage)
- Consent to the child enlisting in the U.S. Armed Forces
- Make decisions regarding the child’s education
- Access to the child’s earnings
- Ability to apply for a passport for the child
- Ability to renew and maintain possession of the passport
The judge will review this information with you to ensure that you understand your responsibilities to support the child. Then, once the custody order is finalized, you will immediately assume these legal duties as the sole custodian of your child and the sole decision-maker on your child’s behalf.
Find Support for a Legal Custody Proceeding in Texas
For fathers looking to gain full custody of their children in Texas, it’s critical to work with a seasoned family law attorney. You don’t want to go at it alone trying to fight an uphill battle to win sole custody.
I will serve as your legal advocate. I currently help dads in Fort Bend County, Brazoria County, and Harris County with child custody matters. If you live in one of these counties, then contact me today to get started on building your case.
Call my offices today at 281-944-5485 or 979-267-7660 to discuss your situation. I look forward to helping you on the path to a positive custody outcome.