Child Custody, Fathers and Parental Alienation

by Ricardo Barrera

Divorce is hard on children
Divorce is hard on children
One of the biggest myths in existence today surrounding divorce and child custody cases is that mothers always get custody of the children and fathers always pay child support.

While this stereotype might have been true years ago, today the law in Texas dictates that in most cases, courts cannot give preference to mothers in terms of awarding custody. Whether you are the mother or the father your child custody case will center around the “best interest of the child” standard and courts will take into consideration whatever factors it considers relevant to that flexible standard.

Parental alienation is the act of one parent distancing the other parent from the child emotionally, physically, or both. It does not matter whether this act is “intentional” or “unintentional.” The act itself is frowned upon by Texas courts and bringing evidence forward about this can assist your case.

Divorce and child custody cases can be stressful and emotional but the Barrera Law Firm is here to help you protect your rights and your children’s well being.

Texas has slightly different wording when it comes to custody cases. The Family Code establishes two types of “custody” determinations, namely legal conservatorship and access. While both parents can share legal conservatorship, courts tend to lean toward granting one parent more possession or access to the children than the other, unless the two parents can agree ahead of time on a 50-50 split or some other mutually desirable arrangement, which will ultimately have to be approved by the court as in the best interest of the child.

Ideally the mother and father can come to an agreement around conservatorship and access to avoid a messy, drawn out legal battle. When your rights are at stake you need an experienced divorce and custody attorney on your side. The Barrera Law Firm understands the ins and outs of child custody cases and can help you plan a strategy that will protect you and your children.

Here are some of the factors that could influence the court in making a “best interest of the children” decision in your case:

  • Emotional welfare of the children (this includes emotional bonds between you and your children, affection, etc.)
  • The respective capacity of either or both parents to provide for the educational and religious upbringing of the children
  • The ability of each parent to financially support the children
  • The past stability of the home or homes
  • The permanence of the existing or proposed home or homes
  • Moral character of each parent
  • Mental and physical health of each parent
  • The home, school, and community record of the child
  • The child’s preference, especially if the child is at least 12 years old
  • Each parent’s willingness to promote a relationship between the children and the other parent
  • Domestic violence



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