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Weatherford Fathers’ Rights Attorney

Texas courts generally assume that it is ideal for the child to be raised by both of their parents. However, when this isn’t possible, it might be better for one parent to have sole custody of the child or for both parents to have custody but separate visitation schedules. To understand your parental rights as a father or to attempt to regain custody of your child, contact a Weatherford father’s rights lawyer.
Weatherford Fathers Rights Lawyer

A Partner You Can Trust

At The Law Firm of William A. Walsh, we take pride in representing our clients with the utmost respect and dignity. Our Christian-based practice has helped countless individuals in the areas of family law, employment law, and more. To learn how a paternity attorney can help with your family situation, contact The Law Firm of William A. Walsh today.

What Is Paternity?

Being a father to a child seems obvious, but legal paternity can be more confusing than you think. For a father to be able to establish control over decision-making and custody of his children, he needs to establish legal paternity. Establishing paternity can be done in the following ways:

  • Implied paternity. If the child was born while the couple was married, the father usually has automatic parental rights.

  • Acknowledgment of paternity. This requires both the mother and father to sign a document certifying that the father is the biological father of the child.

  • Paternity case. If the mother will not sign an acknowledgment, the father must file a paternity case with the Texas courts. In this case, a judge normally requires the father to take a DNA test and evaluates whether the father is the biological father of the child. After this ruling, additional decisions can be made regarding custody, visitation, and other things about the child.

Why Do I Need an Attorney?

It is important that both parents feel represented when negotiating custody of their children. If you feel like your needs and desires are not being heard, then contacting a family law attorney can help. An attorney can review your situation and determine which plan of action to take. If a court hearing must take place, an attorney can represent you and ensure you understand the process at every phase.

Child Custody

If paternity is established for a child, a parent can request custody over their child through a conservatorship, or custody proceeding. This proceeding can either establish new guidelines or revise old ones. Once the request is submitted, the court will decide the new rules regarding the nature of the relationship. The court attempts to develop these rules depending on the interests of the child and considers the following:

  • Needs of the child. Every child has different needs depending on their age and level of development. The court determines how well each parent might be able to meet these needs and allocates custody accordingly. It is helpful if parents desiring custody have attempted to promote their child’s developmental needs in the past.

  • Parental status. It takes a certain level of stability to be able to effectively parent a child, so the court looks at things like each parent’s income level, career history, and residential history. Consistently changing living circumstances, romantic partners, or jobs can be evaluated negatively because stability is often in the child’s interest.

  • Parental relations. Generally, the courts believe that a child should be able to spend time with both of their parents. They also take into account whether or not a parent actively attempts to discourage their child from spending time with the other parent. This tactic is called alienation and is looked down upon in family courts.

  • Child safety. At the same time, a child’s safety needs are also considered. The court does not want the child to be at risk of physical harm or neglect. An attorney can help deliver evidence of physical or mental illnesses in a way that minimizes their impact on child custody.

  • Location of other family. Another thing to keep in mind is the community in which the child will be living. If one parent lives significantly far away from the other, it might negatively impact the child’s relationship with other family members or friends. Conversely, the other location might offer more benefits like better schools or better access to healthcare.

  • Child preferences. While not always considered, the court can also consider the child’s preference for where they want to live starting at age 12. This is only one factor that is judged with several other criteria.

Termination of Parental Rights

While most family courts do not want to terminate a parent’s rights, they can do so if they believe that a parent is not acting in the interest of their child. Some common reasons for termination include:

  • Abandonment. Instances of abandonment include leaving a child with another person and not taking care of them for several months. This can also include the parent stating that they do not intend to return to support the child or the father leaving the mother while she is pregnant with the child.

  • Endangerment. If a parent puts their child in a situation that they know could potentially harm the child, it is considered endangerment. This also includes leaving the child with people who could cause the child danger.

  • Relinquished rights. A parent can sign an affidavit to relinquish their parental rights. If this has already been signed, then it is difficult to get any parental rights back.

  • Other children: If a father is responsible for the death or serious injury of another child, the court might terminate his rights. The court might also remove the father’s rights if he abandoned another one of his children in the past.

  • Court order. If the father has criminal charges, the court might release a court order with specific actions the father must take to retain parental rights. If these requirements are not met, parental rights can be terminated.

  • Committing a crime. This applies to a father who is incarcerated for two or more years for a crime they knowingly committed.

  • Drug use. This can include the father using drugs in a way that harms the child or the father contributing to the child being born addicted to a drug.

  • Crimes against other parent. If the father was accused and convicted of either attempting to murder the other parent or hiring someone else to kill the parent, they can be seen as unsafe and can have their parental rights terminated.

If parental rights are terminated, that parent is usually not obligated to continue making child support payments, but this does not always happen.


Q: What Are My Legal Rights as a Father in Texas?

A: As a father in Weatherford, you have the right to physically be around your child and make decisions about your child’s life. These decisions include where they are raised, where they go to school or church, and making medical decisions on behalf of the child. A father’s parental rights can be terminated if he purposefully put his child at risk of harm or abandoned the child or mother while she was pregnant.

Q: How Do I File for Visitation Rights in Texas?

A: To file for visitation rights in Weatherford, you can file a Suit Affecting the Parent-Child Relationship, or SAPCR. If you have not already established paternity of that child, you can file a paternity case to establish that you are the child’s father. This is not required if the child’s mother has signed an Acknowledgment of Paternity document verifying that you are the child’s biological father. For more information, contact a Weatherford parental rights lawyer.

Q: What Are the Grounds for Unfit Fathers in Texas?

A: In Weatherford, Texas, a mother can deem a father “unfit” by terminating their parental rights. This action must be done with a court order signed by a judge. If the parent in question wants to voluntarily give up their rights, they can do so as well. For a parent’s rights to be terminated, there must be a sufficient amount of evidence that the parent in question being responsible for the child is not in the child’s interest.

Q: Can a Mother Withhold a Child From the Father in Texas?

A: A mother has different rules for withholding a child from their father in Texas. If the child was born when the two were married, paternity is already implied. If the child was not born in these circumstances, then paternity must be established before the father can have visitation or custody rights. Once the father establishes paternity, he can request custody through a conservatorship proceeding to visit or gain custody over the child.

Family Is Worth Fighting For

Spending time with your children is one of the most important things in life, so paternity issues should be handled with urgency. To review your legal options for establishing parental rights, schedule a consultation with The Law Firm of William A. Walsh today. Our legal experience can help you get back to what matters most in life.

  • Testimonials Five Stars
    My experience with Mr. William Walsh has been nothing less than extraordinary. From the telephone conversation, our first consultation, to the proceedings, Mr. Walsh was very professional in every aspect. He treated me with understanding to my situation, demonstrated compassion, very honest, very meticulous, and performed with great care and completeness. You and your situation are his motivating force. He was very methodical in every aspect.

    - Bob Coleman

  • Testimonials Five Stars
    People need a family lawyer. I cannot express how good this lawyer is. Very highly recommended. You will definitely get your money’s worth and then some with Mr. Walsh. Very highly recommended! Best of luck!

    - Gabriel Pena



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