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New bill seeks to recognize fathers' rights

Texas, like many states around the country, is seeing renewed efforts on the part of fathers throughout the state to receive more equal treatment in the courtroom when it comes to child custody matters.

It is no secret that fathers often receive short shrift in a divorce, with courts frequently giving mothers what amounts to unfair advantages in custody arrangements. A new bill making its way through the state legislature seeks to remedy this issue. Should it pass, it will give fathers additional legal clout to receive more equitable distribution of parental rights.

Texas House Bill 453 seeks to give fathers and mothers equal custody opportunities in a divorce. This is the latest chapter in a long-standing advantage that mothers have enjoyed by virtue of simply being mothers. If the bill is successful, fathers will not have to settle as often for simply getting visitation rights, which is often the case now. Rather, fathers will more often be granted equal custody of their child with the mother.

For many fathers, this might be a game-changer. While the bill does not seek to change how a court might address issues like child support, it does seek to give fathers a fairer shake in custody battles. Of course, each family comes to the table with its own set circumstances that must be evaluated individually for the child's best interest. Whether or not the bill passes, a child's best interests will remain at the heart of any custody negotiation.

If you believe that your custody agreement is not fair, you should not sit idly by. Your child will only be young for so long, and it is important to fight for your rights as a father to spend as much time together as you can. With professional guidance by an experienced attorney, you can seek fair treatment by the court and keep your rights protected in the process.

Source: WFAA, "Texas fathers fight for equal custody law at legislature," Jason Whiteley, Feb. 09, 2017

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