Do Mothers Always Get Custody of the Children?
Many times San Antonio divorce attorneys are asked whether the custody of the children of a divorce is always given to the mother. Simply put, there is no presumption that the custody of a child should favor the mother over the father.
The court must consider the best interests of the child in determining custody issues versus the sex of the parent. As far back as 1976, the three factors used in determining the best interests of the child have been the ability of either parent to care for the child, the ability to maintain a family relationship and parental fitness.
Historically, there was a legal principle existing in family law that presumed that the mother should have custody of children thirteen years of age and under during their tender years. This doctrine basically said that a child should not be separated from his or her mother in a divorce proceeding. During that period, sex played a huge role in determining the fitness of a parent for custody purposes.
With a shifting of societal viewpoints there has gradually been a move away from the feeling that the mother should automatically retain custody of the children. This trend led to our courts looking at what is in the best interests of the child versus the sex of the parent to determine parental fitness. This is now codified in Section 153.003 of the Texas Family Code, which states that the court shall not consider the marital status or the sex of either parent when making decisions regarding custody.
As a general rule, the courts in Texas favor giving both parents equal rights and duties regarding their children. This does not mean that there are not some judges that still feel that the child ought to be with the mother. Should this occur, it is imperative that the attorney makes certain that the law is followed rather than any personal preference of the judge.
If you or someone you know is considering a divorce, it is very important that you seek the advice of a Bexar County attorney experienced in all facets of family law matters. Choosing the right attorney can make a difference in your case. It is important to have knowledge about the various judges, understanding their preferences and having their respect is essential in the success of your case.
The law firm of Allan R. Manka P.C. is based in San Antonio, Texas and our attorneys have more than 60 years combined experience in handling a wide variety of family law matters, including divorces.
Our firm has represented clients in nearby cities such as New Braunfels, Sequin, Pleasanton, Jourdanton, Hondo, Boerne, Bandera and Floresville, in addition to proudly serving the needs of the servicemen and servicewomen at Lackland and Randolph Air Force Bases.
Contact us through our website, call us direct at (210) 807-8629 or toll free at (866) 621-7085 to schedule your free initial consultation.