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Father's rights: Does Texas need an 'equal custody' measure?

Family law psychologists and many others agree that a child is best raised when he or she can have as much contact as possible with both parents. Does this mean that Texas should enact an "equal custody" law that supports divorcing parents to receive equal custody of their children?

The Texas Fathers' Rights Movement believes that the state needs a piece of legislation like this because it happens too often that parents do not receive equal custody and visitation time in their divorces.

According to one of the group's organizers, they are "advocating for people that want to be a part of their kid's life, that want to see them." He also admits, "Of course you can't see them all the time, but we're mainly advocating for 50/50 parenting."

A proposed state law, HB453, was submitted to the Texas legislature in 2017. The law would have made equal parenting the standard. It would have required courts to issue an award of equal parenting unless such arrangements conflicted the child's best interests. However, last year, the law did not get to go through the entire legislative process.

The movement to enact equal parenting laws is a strong one throughout the nation, and many fathers and mothers who feel they have been "cut out" of their children's lives to a large extent are in favor of such laws. As it stands right now in Texas, parents can still pursue equal parenting custody decisions and -- with the right legal arguments and the right kinds of facts to support them -- they just might succeed.

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