Like many states in the country, Texas has come to acknowledge the important roles that both parents play in the upbringing of a child. Because of this, there is a notable shift in the number of joint managing conservatorships, with fewer mothers getting sole custody of their children. Fathers are able to take a more active and meaningful role in their children's lives following a divorce, which is good, but what about fathers who were never married to the child's mother?
Understandably, women have a great deal of rights as far as making decisions for a child before the child is born. In fact, because the birthing of a child is often considered to be a health care concern for the mother, she retains practically exclusive access to the child's well-being before birth. Fathers who wish to show that they are committed to the child's health and care are encouraged to make an effort to assist with the multiple screenings and medical visits during a pregnancy. This commitment can be emotional support, financial support or even transportation.
Unfortunately for unmarried fathers, they will require consent from the mother if they hope for any involvement in the prenatal health care. This means that without the mother's permission, fathers usually cannot attend doctor's appointments, nor can they see test results.
The law is certainly trending toward a more equal share when it comes to parenting rights, but there are some areas in which women still maintain priority, largely due to their critical role in the child's prenatal development and birth. If you are a father seeking to take a more active role in your child's development and upbringing, you should consider meeting with an attorney. A legal professional with experience in family law can help you approach the issue from a legal standpoint that will give you a good chance of receiving the custody arrangement you deserve.