The Texas Family Code has a lot to say on what it means to be a father, what rights fathers have in regards to their children, and what obligations come along for the ride.
So first off, who is considered to be the father?
It is “a man legally determined to be the father, a man who has been adjudicated to be the father by a court of competent jurisdiction, a man who has acknowledged his paternity under applicable law, or an adoptive … father.” TFC § 101.024.
If you are one of those men who thinks you could be a father or have been told you are the father but are not that sure about it, we have a different blog for you. Because you need your own page.
Now, if you are lucky enough to be a father, what are your rights at all times? You have lots of them. Here are a bunch (TFC § 151.001):
- the right to have physical possession, to direct the moral and religious training during your time of possession, and if the court deems it in the best interest your child for your to have primary possession, to designate the residence of the child;
- the duty of care, control, protection, and reasonable discipline of the child when the child is in your possession;
- the duty to support the child, including providing the child with clothing, food, shelter, medical and dental care, and education;
- the duty, except when a guardian of the child’s estate has been appointed, to manage the estate of the child, including the right as an agent of the child to act in relation to the child’s estate if the child’s action is required by a state, the United States, or a foreign government;
- except as provided by TFC 264.0111, the right to the services and earnings of the child;
- the right to consent to the child’s marriage, enlistment in the armed forces of the United States, medical and dental care, and psychiatric, psychological, and surgical treatment;
- the right to represent the child in legal action and to make other decisions of substantial legal significance concerning the child;
- the right to receive and give receipt for payments for the support of the child and to hold or disburse funds for the benefit of the child;
- the right to inherit from and through the child;
- the right to make decisions concerning the child’s education; and
- any other right or duty existing between a parent and child by virtue of law.
Plus these are the rights of Fathers appointed as a conservator, unless the court specifically says otherwise, AT ALL TIMES (TFC § 153.073):
- to receive information from any other conservator of the child concerning the health, education, and welfare of the child;
- to confer with the other parent to the extent possible before making a decision concerning the health, education, and welfare of the child;
- of access to medical, dental, psychological, and educational records of the child;
- to consult with a physician, dentist, or psychologist of the child;
- to consult with school officials concerning the child’s welfare and educational status, including school activities;
- to attend school activities;
- to be designated on the child’s records as a person to be notified in case of an emergency;
- to consent to medical, dental, and surgical treatment during an emergency involving an immediate danger to the health and safety of the child; and
- to manage the estate of the child to the extent the estate has been created by the parent or the parent’s family.
Can the Court treat you differently because you are the Father and not the Mother?
(TFC § 153.003) NO DISCRIMINATION BASED ON SEX. The court shall consider the qualifications of the parties without regard to … the sex of the party or the child in determining: (1) which party to appoint as sole managing conservator; (2) whether to appoint a party as joint managing conservator; and (3) the terms and conditions of conservatorship and possession of and access to the child.
If Your Rights Have Been Violated, Call Now!
So now that you know you have rights regarding your kids, if those rights are being infringed in any way, call the Family Law Team at Guest & Gray, P.C. today. We will fight aggressively for you to have all the rights the law gives you. Call now.