There’s been a steady movement toward equally shared custody of children after divorce in this country. Under Texas law, the default is still a 75/25 split. A bill currently in the Texas legislature would change that to 50/50.
House Bill 803, however, has yet to even receive a committee hearing. That doesn’t bode well for its chances of getting to a vote before the legislature, which is in session only every other year, adjourns at the end of May.
Why moms and dads are fighting for the bill
Although the current 75/25 split typically gives mothers a greater amount of parenting time, the legislation has proponents from both genders. One woman, who calls the current law “archaic and misogynistic,” notes that it increases the chances of a conflict-ridden divorce. She adds that “if you do not annihilate that other parent in family court, you’re going to only see your child 25 percent of their life.”
The divorced mother also says that the current law takes away the responsibility of fathers to share equally in their children’s upbringing, putting the bulk of the parenting duties on mothers who then have a more difficult time achieving their career goals.
One father who’s advocating for the bill says that he was able to get a 45/55 split with his co-parent, but only after “a long, lengthy, expensive litigation process and five attorneys.” He notes that the bill has bipartisan support and over 20 sponsors. He wants to see it move forward so Texas lawmakers can vote on it.
Of course, it’s typically best when parents can reach an agreement to share custody of their children in a way that’s in the kids’ best interests and works for both of them as well. However, if the decision has to be made by a judge, then an experienced family law attorney can help you fight for the custody rights that you’re seeking.