Being a father is possibly the most important job a man can have. He deserves to get the chance to see his children and watch them grow up. If your right to spend time with your children is being threatened and you find yourself in need of a paternity lawyer in Denton, Texas, contact our office right away.

We know custody battles can be difficult on everybody, and can put a strain on any family. When we become your paternity lawyers, we put you and your family first. We help our paternity clients in Denton to understand the many steps in a paternity conflict and guide them throughout the process. We do our best to minimize your stress, because we understand that you and your family are already stressed enough.

Establishing Paternity

When it comes to establishing paternity, the law in Texas allows a man to legally establish he is the father of the child in a few different ways:

  • The man is married to the child’s mother with the child being born during the time they are married to one another.
  • The man is married to the child’s mother and the child was born before the 301st day following the date the marriage was terminated by annulment, divorce, death, or declaration of invalidity.
  • The man was married to the child’s mother before the child’s birth with the appearance of legal compliance, even if that marriage is later declared invalid, and the birth occurred during the period ruled invalid on or before the 301st day following the date the marriage was terminated by annulment, divorce, death, or declaration of invalidity.
  • The man married the mother after the child’s birth in what appears to be a legally compliant union, regardless of whether or not this marriage could be declared invalid, and asserts his paternity voluntarily. As long as that assertion:
    • Is recorded and filed with the Texas state bureau of vital statistics
    • Contains a promise to support the child as his own
  • The man continuously resided with the child for the first two years of the child’s life while representing to other people he was in fact he was the child’s father.

Good News for Fathers in Texas Custody Cases

Although many fathers heading into a custody battle fear the court system will be tilted against them, Texas state law requires the court to ignore the sex of the parents when considering their decisions concerning child custody of a child born to married parents. One challenge for men who are not married to the mother of their child: they must actively establish their paternity. This can be done either through a document where the mother concedes the individual in question is indeed the father, or where paternity is otherwise established through a test.

A 1973 Equal Right Amendment ensure this in Texas. What’s more, the same law requires Texas courts to take an active interest in trying to ensure the children in custody cases receive continuing and frequent contact from both parents. The only exception to this would be in cases where it would not be in the child’s best interest to do so.

Despite this law, statistics show that custody is still most often awarded to the mother in such cases. This is why it’s absolutely essential that father’s facing custody battles hire an experienced family law firm who knows the local court system and the applicable law. In Denton and Cooke counties, The Law Office of Brent Hill is proud to leverage their legal expertise and familiarity with the local courts to help fathers in custody cases.

Overall, the court system today recognizes paternal rights during a custody case much more so than they have in the past. This includes recognizing that many homes are split-income and that awarding greater time to the mother does not always necessarily benefit the child the way it would have in the past.

This is why the state of Texas would like to see parents achieve custody by agreement rather than by a court order. The state firmly believes parents know their children and their needs better than the system in the vast majority of custody cases.

How Texas Courts Decide Custody Cases

There are two things that the court must consider when deciding “custody” in the case of a child:

  1. Legal Custody. The first sense of the word custody here refers to the parental rights when making key decisions about the upbringing of the child. This includes education, medical treatment, and even religious decisions. In the state of Texas, the court system favors awarding joint custody in terms of the decision-making power for the child. For this to work, both parents must play an active role in the child’s life and learn to work together when deciding things.
  2. Physical Custody. This is the type of custody that stipulates where a child spends their time in terms of the split between parents. In regards to the physical custody, the court can award joint custody as well – even if the child does not spend 50% of their time in each home. Besides joint custody, the court may also award sole custody to one parent and only grant the other visitation rights that must adhere to a court-mandated schedule.

We understand that every custody case is unique, and there are different obstacles that need to be overcome in every situation. We take that into account and work with you to provide the representation that you need to protect you, your rights and your family.

When you feel it is time to find a paternity lawyer in Denton to protect your rights as a father, do not hesitate to contact us for a free consultation.

To find out more, give us a call today at 940-381-3688.