At The Law Firm of William A. Walsh, we believe fathers’ rights are worth fighting for. There are various reasons why a father may need to establish or secure parental rights. We understand these cases are often stressful and emotional, especially for fathers trying to ensure they will play a role in their children’s lives. Whether you are going through a divorce or your child was born out of wedlock, our experienced team can help you fight for the parental involvement you and your child deserve.
As a father, you may be dealing with parental rights issues involving child support, paternity disputes, or child custody disputes. It is important to have an experienced family law attorney on your side. If you are a father looking for representation from a family attorney in Granbury, let the Law Firm of William A. Walsh guide you to a fair resolution.
As a trusted and successful lawyer practicing in Granbury, TX for over 20 years, my representation has helped thousands of Texans reach their desired legal resolutions. The Law Firm of William A. Walsh is a Christian-based practice, managed with a personal touch. I am proud to offer flexible meeting times outside of normal working hours and return all calls as soon as possible. We know family law cases are emotionally draining, which is why we approach all cases with understanding and respect.
Hiring a lawyer also ensures you will stay in compliance with deadlines, paperwork, and other details you might be unaware of behind the scenes. At the Law Firm of William A. Walsh, we understand the complex family laws in place in Granbury, Hood County, and the surrounding areas. We have access to valuable resources and a significant amount of experience when it comes to representing fathers fighting for their rights. Leave the research and details to us during this stressful time in your life.
In emotionally-charged disputes involving children, co-parents often present the worst possible information about the other parent. If you choose to represent yourself, it may be difficult to avoid becoming angry or sad as this information is presented. On the other hand, a lawyer will not be as emotionally charged by hearing these claims and will stick to representing your case in a way that is most favorable to you. They will highlight facts and evidence to show why you are a fit parent, as well as work to uncover any reasons the co-parent may be unfit. Ultimately, without hiring a lawyer, you could find yourself outmatched and unprepared when handling a parental rights case, especially when you are up against a co-parent’s experienced representation.
While “custody” and “visitation” are commonly referred to in these cases, it is important to know that Texas no longer uses those terms. To move away from the negative connotations associated with these phrases, the state of Texas now refers to “custody” as “conservatorship” and “visitation” as “possession and access.” As long as paternity has been established and there is no evidence of violence or absence of one parent, mothers and fathers are joint managing conservators of their children. This means they share the decision-making responsibilities when it comes to healthcare and education.
If there is a history of violence between parents or a record of child abuse, alcohol or drug abuse, or absence of one parent, then the other parent can be named Sole Managing Conservator of a child. The Sole Managing Conservator then has the right to make most decisions about healthcare and education. The other parent typically becomes a Possessory Conservator, still having the rights of a parent but not having the final say in decision-making about the child.
When parents are joint managing conservators of their children, it does not necessarily mean time is evenly split between them. This is where a possession order comes in. In Texas, a Standard Possession Order is considered to be in the best interest of children aged three and older. This order states one parent will possess the child or children whenever both parents agree. If parents don’t agree, specific guidelines are provided by the state that can be followed, depending on how far apart the co-parents live.
If a Standard Possession Order is deemed inappropriate or unworkable by the co-parents or the judge, a Modified Possession Order will be written. This could include solutions such as alternating weeks or weekends, splitting weeks, or eliminating overnight visits. An attorney with experience in family law can help create a modified possession order. If the judge is concerned about child safety, a Supervised Possession Order can be written to require visits between a child and parent to be supervised.
If you would like to make changes to an existing possession (i.e., visitation) or conservatorship (i.e., custody) order, first determine if the co-parent will be in agreement with this change. If co-parents are in agreement, the modification is considered uncontested, and paperwork can be filed to make the agreed-upon change. If your modification suit is contested, it is important to discuss your case with a lawyer, as it will involve a hearing with a judge to determine if the modification is in the best interest of the child.
Paternity law deals with managing the legal obligations that go along with being a father, including determining who the father of a child might be. If a child is born out of wedlock, the child has no legal father until paternity is established. Paternity can be established in two ways: voluntarily or involuntarily. When the mother and father agree that the father is the biological father, paternity is established when both parents sign the “Acknowledgement of Paternity.” Involuntary establishment of paternity requires a court hearing where DNA testing is often completed to determine paternity. Establishing paternity helps fathers gain rights to their children and participate in their children’s lives.
If you are a father in the Granbury area navigating paternity issues, it is crucial to have an experienced lawyer on your side. Reach out to The Law Office of William A. Walsh to obtain trustworthy representation.