In an ideal world, every divorce would be amicable and would go smoothly and without issue. However, many divorce cases are less than ideal. It is not uncommon for one of the parties involved with the divorce to feel as though the ruling was not in their favor or that they have to deal with additional hardship.
In some situations, the terms that were agreed upon in the proceedings are not followed once the case is finished, but the parent of a child does have rights that guarantee their involvement in the life of the child unless the courts decide otherwise.
Both the mother and the father of a child have rights and duties when it comes to their presence and influence in the child's life. These rights and duties are defined in the Texas Family Code. According to the Texas Family Code, the parent's rights and responsibilities are:
(1) the right to have physical possession, to direct the moral and religious training, and to designate the residence of the child;
(2) the duty of care, control, protection, and reasonable discipline of the child;
(3) the duty to support the child, including providing the child with clothing, food, shelter, medical and dental care, and education;
(4) 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;
(5) except as provided by Section 264.0111, the right to the services and earnings of the child; (6) 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;
(7) the right to represent the child in legal action and to make other decisions of substantial legal significance concerning the child;
(8) 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;
(9) the right to inherit from and through the child;
(10) the right to make decisions concerning the child's education; and
(11) any other right or duty existing between a parent and child by virtue of law.
It is important to note that these rights and responsibilities are only applied to people who are legally recognized at the parents of a child. The state of Texas has laws that determine whether or not a man can legitimately be considered the father of a child. What constitutes a father is defined in a section of the Family Code as the Uniform Parentage Act.
If you are not considered the legal father of a child, there are some legal actions that can be taken to change this. You can submit to a paternity test and prove paternity that way, or you can meet a definition in the Uniform Parentage Act.
According to The Uniform Parentage Act, a man can be considered the father of a child if,
· He was married to the mother when the child was born.
· He volunteered to be the child's father.
· He resided in the same household as the child for the first two years of a child's life led others to believe he is the child's father.
There are finer details in the Uniform Parentage Act that define potential cases for a man to be considered a father. If you have additional questions about your contribution to a child's life or concerns that the child's mother is or is attempting to deprive you of your parental rights, it is highly suggested that you obtain the services of a knowledgeable and experienced legal professional.