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Proposed Texas bill would allow 50-50 custody

A huge number of Texas family law guidelines are explicitly designed to account for the best interests of children involved in divorce and other disputes. Many people have and continue to argue, however, that some child custody and visitation policies favor one parent over the other. For instance, it is standard practice in many cases to assign primary custody to the mother of the child in question. It is for that reason that some parents are speaking up in support of new family law legislation that is currently being considered in the state.

The proposed bill, which is being considered at the committee level, would allow a family law judge to award equal amounts of child custody to parents. In situations where awarding 50-50 custody would not compromise the best interests of the child in question, the judge could assign equal parenting time. Similar bills have been proposed and passed in other states, but critics of the legislation argue that it would only lead to more disputes and family law litigation.

Some proponents of the measure argue, however, that current state family law guidelines play favoritism with mothers. They explain that more can and should be done to promote the rights of willing and able fathers, and that giving fathers more time with their children would benefit everyone involved. In response to the argument that the proposed measure would result in more litigation and expenses, one father noted that he has spent thousands of dollars fighting for equal custody rights to his son.

Source: CBS DFW, “Texas Fathers Take Fight for Equal Custody to State Capital,” J. D. Miles, April 15, 2013

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