Some Texas legislators are trying to pass legislation that would make it easier for fathers to share custody of their children more equitably with the children's mother. This isn't the first time that state lawmakers have attempted to influence the custody rulings made by family court judges.
A similar bill was proposed in 2015, but didn't make it out of the legislature. At least five states have already passed such laws.Not everyone thinks that House Bill 453 is a good idea. One former judge who is currently a practicing attorney says she thinks the bill "indicates that people believe they are not being heard by the court," but that it would limit the discretion of judges.
The wording of HB 453 currently states that the court "shall" divide custody time equally between the parents. However, it doesn't specify whether that means alternating days, weeks or some other equal division.
Of course, if divorcing parents are able to arrive at a custody agreement with the help of their attorneys, their case never has to go before a family court judge.
It's generally best if couples can work out their custody and visitation schedule along with other aspects of their divorce agreement. This keeps their property division and support matters from having to be decided by a judge's ruling.
However, if you're not able to do so, it's important to have an experienced Texas family law attorney on your side who knows state law well and is able to present a strong argument for why the judge should rule in your favor.
Source: WFAA, "Texas fathers fight for equal custody law at legislature," Jason Whitely, Feb. 09, 2017