Texas Father’s Guide to Winning Primary Custody
Posted by Ramos Law Group, PLLC | Child Custody
Father’s Guide to Winning Primary Custody In Texas
Many Texas fathers have the notion that it is impossible to win primary conservatorship of their children, as they believe the Texas Court system favors the mother. While historically the mother may have had the upper hand, Texas courts are more progressive and look at all the facts and circumstances rather than the genders.
To win custody (or be named as the primary conservator), a father must show that being named the primary conservator would be in the child’s best interest or that the mother being named primary conservator would not be in the child’s best interest. How does a father do that? Here are some tips for preparing for a contested divorce or child custody case:
- Be an involved parent. Life gets in the way and sometimes one parent is more involved than the other. But the more involvement a father has shown, the better his case for primary conservatorship. This means be involved with school functions, know the child’s teachers, attend as many appointments and activities as possible. Do a lion’s share of the daily activities – bath time, packing lunch, homework, etc. The more hands on a parent (of either gender) is, the more likely a parent is to be named primary conservator.
- Look for weak spots in your case. Think your spouse will allege you are a heavy drinker? Be proactive – cut back drinking and explore treatment options if it might be a serious problem. If you work nights, a judge may be reluctant to give you primary custody as children should not be left alone over night or with a non-parent conservator. Look into changing your work schedule. Same for extensive work travel or long shifts. Anything you can do to better your specific circumstances for being the primary conservator will help your case.
- Prepare your evidence Maybe it is your spouse that has a drinking problem or extensively travels for work. As you can imagine, the winner of a he said/she said battle is usually the party who is best as testifying, not necessarily the party with the best facts. Bring receipts. Keep a calendar to track the amount of nights your spouse spends out drinking with friends or track how much money has been spent on alcohol through credit card receipts. Take screenshots of any threatening or concerning communications from your spouse. Anyone can claim their spouse has patterns of concerning behavior
- Consider what a “win” means to you. Some fathers don’t necessarily have to be the primary conservator, they would be more than happy to have equal time with the kids. Some fathers realize their work schedule prevents them from having primary custody but would prefer to limit the amount of child support obligation. Think about what your actual goals on and be realistic about your situation. A lot of times a “win” can be easily achieved for both parties without either having full custody. Be honest with yourself and your legal team as to your goals. “No child support” or “mom never seeing the kids” is not a realistic goal but many of your goals are likely achievable.
- Get organized. All the hard work you put into the above tasks will help you in your pursuit of primary conservatorship. But you’re going to need to provide all the tangible documentation of the above to your legal team (or the Court if representing yourself). Reach out to your HR department or company to receive copies of paychecks and proof of insurance. Save all your screenshots, photos and other digital evidence onto one flash drive. Compile a timeline or calendar system to present a fleshed-out timeline of your case (including important events which prove why you should be primary conservator). The more documents and evidence you provide to your legal team, the better that team will be able to present your case.
The skilled legal team at the Ramos Law Group, PLLC has represented a multitude of fathers who have obtained primary custody of their children. It can be done. We know there are great fathers out there who should be named the primary conservator of their children. If you need help achieving that goal or would like to discuss your case in depth with one of our licensed Texas attorneys, please contact us today.