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Why can't I get parenting time?

If you are an unmarried father and are frustrated with your inability to have time with your child (because of mom’s decision), you are certainly not alone. Many fathers in this position do not have, or nurture, relationships with their children; likely because they are trying to avoid further conflict with mom, so they stay away. Also, they may not understand their rights under Texas law when it comes to father’s rights. 

For what it’s worth, there is a process that fathers can follow in order to obtain legal custody, physical custody and parenting time. Essentially, dad would have to file a lawsuit to establish paternity (i.e. that he is the biological father of the child) and then ask the court to issue an order granting custody and parenting time. The process is not fast, and could cause more friction between mom and dad at the outset (since people generally don’t like being served with legal papers). Nevertheless, the benefits of obtaining such rights can be invaluable. 

For instance, a father who has legal custody has the right to be involved in major life decisions for the child, including introduction to religion, choices regarding medical care, and decisions about education. Fathers with physical custody have the right to have specific parenting time.

Those who are having issues with parenting time, it is advisable to get started as soon as possible so that the holiday season (which is coming faster than you may think) is not compromised. If you have questions, contact an experienced Texas father’s rights attorney.

The preceding is not legal advice. 

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