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Fathers' rights questioned in lawsuit

Monday, December 11, 2017

When children are involved in a Texas divorce, there are often many issues that are contested between the ex-spouses. On occasion, these issues become common knowledge when the parties are recognized by the public. Fathers' rights issues were recently spotlighted when the father of an internet celebrity petitioned a family court to give him more decision-making authority in his daughter's life.

The father, a sheriff's deputy in another state, has asked the court for shared parental responsibility for his 13-year-old daughter. She gained notoriety after an appearance on the Dr. Phil Show for her unruly behavior. According to the lawsuit, the girl's actions are out of control, and her father claims that the girl's mother is the source of his daughter's problems; therefore, he wishes to have more parental rights. The father alleges that the mother is exploiting the girl to make money.

The father was granted visitation rights in the original custody agreement in 2004. At that time, the mother was designated as the primary residential parent and was given the responsibility for decision making for the daughter. The father now contends that there have been significant changes in the situation and that his daughter's behavior has deteriorated while in the custody of her mother. The father wants to take a more active role in his child's upbringing and give her the help he believes she needs.

Many Texas fathers are in similar situations and want to play a bigger role in raising their children. Often, the law works in favor of mothers, and fathers' rights are diminished. A strong legal team devoted to protecting the rights of fathers can help someone who wants to challenge an existing custody arrangement.

Source: palmbeachpost.com, "Cash me outside: Teen's father files lawsuit to gain more rights", Liz Balmaseda, Mar. 10, 2017

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