The Law Office of Judy Ritts

Father's Rights in Houston, TX

         Going through a divorce is never a fun situation for anyone. At the Law Office of Judy Ritts, we do our best to help you best understand what your options are. For more than 20 years, we have assisted clients throughout the Houston, TX area with fatherís rights. See below for some helpful information.

         The Texas Family Code states that decisions regarding custody and possession of a child shall be made without regard to marital status or to the sex of the party or the child.  Under the law, fathers have exactly the same rights and duties regarding their children as mothers.

         The reality in Harris and Fort Bend counties, however, is somewhat different.  The good news is that perceptions are changing and fathers are getting more ”equal” every day.

         The hardest fight for fathers is to get custody of a very young child from a mother who wants that child.  Unless that mother presents some sort of risk to the child (drugs, alcohol, neglect, abuse), most judges are unlikely to remove a very young child from their mom.  On the other hand, if you can demonstrate that risk, most judges will do what they think is needed to protect the child, including giving custody to dad.

         The same bias often works in a father’s favor when it comes to teenage boys.  Assumptions get made about who can better control a young man and about sons needing their fathers.

         Judges sometimes assume that fathers work Monday through Friday, 8 am to 5 pm.  Can your work schedule be flexible to accommodate after-school activities and child care?  Do you have a reliable family member or friend, especially your mother or sister, that can fill in on days when the child is ill and can’t go to school or who can provide after school care?  Fathers usually get better results from a judge when you demonstrate an ability to handle all the logistics and practical considerations that arise when children live with you.

         Here are some questions that might be asked in a custody dispute:

  • How will Johnny get to soccer practice at 4:30 pm on Tuesdays?
  • What are your daughter’s favorite meals and how do you prepare them?
  • When was the last time you did your children’s laundry? 
  • How do you get grass stains out of a baseball uniform?
  • Who will take your son to the doctor when the school nurse calls and tells you he’s sick?
  • Who is your pediatrician? 
  • When was your child’s last checkup?

         My advice to fathers is Get Involved With Your KidsNOW!  If you want to participate in your children’s lives, do it!  Don’t complain about unequal treatment and then tell me you can’t answer questions like those above. Clearly, the more you know and the more you do, the more qualified you are to get custody.  Get busy!

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Practice Areas
  • Family Law
  • Divorce
  • Adoption Law
  • Child Custody Law
  • Child Support
  • Visitation Rights
  • Domestic Violence
  • Spousal Support
  • Paternity
  • Father's Rights

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