Texas Lawyer Ric Barrera Straightens Out Child Custody Myth for Divorcing Couples in New Article Just Released

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Harlingen attorney Ricardo Barrera finds former stereotypes about divorce and child custody continue to worry divorcing couples

Ricardo Barrera of the The Barrera Law Firm

While both parents can share legal conservatorship, courts tend to lean toward granting one parent more possession or access to the children than the other.

Harlingen lawyer Ricardo Barrera of the Barrera Law Firm works in handling divorce and child custody settlements in South Texas. It is a common experience for him to have to properly inform his clients on child custody and, in almost every consultation, explode a common myth surrounding divorce and child custody cases in Texas. The prevalence of the misinformation has caused him to write an article posted recently to his website blog entitled “Child Custody, Fathers and Parental Alienation.” The myth is that "mothers always get custody of the child or children" and "fathers always pay child support."

“It has not really come into general knowledge yet, especially with men, that the old stereotypical child custody settlement of yesterday does not necessarily apply today,” explains Barrera. “Depending on the circumstances, a mother may have to pay child support too. The standard is "best interest of the child" and that's what the courts consider.”

"Best interest of the child" is situation-based on the circumstances of the couple and their child or children. Some of the factors that are taken into account are:

  •     Emotional welfare of the children (this includes emotional bonds between the parent and children, affection, etc.);
  •     The respective capacity of either or both parents to provide for the educational and religious upbringing of the children;
  •     The ability of each parent to financially support the children;
  •     The past stability of the home or homes;
  •     The permanence of the existing or proposed home or homes;
  •     Moral character of each parent;
  •     Mental and physical health of each parent;
  •     The home, school, and community record of the child;
  •     The child’s preference, especially if the child is at least 12 years old;
  •     Each parent’s willingness to promote a relationship between the children and the other parent; and
  •     Domestic violence.

“Another key matter in terms of custody is that there are two types of custody recognized under the Family Code in Texas,” states Barrera. “These are legal conservatorship and access. While both parents can share legal conservatorship, courts tend to lean toward granting one parent more possession or access to the children than the other. However, the two parents can agree ahead of time on a 50-50 arrangement or some other mutually desirable arrangement. But this will ultimately have to be approved by the court as in the best interest of the child.”

Individuals having questions regarding divorce and custody can call the Barrera Law Firm to get a free consultation.

Ricardo A. Barrera is a South Texas attorney that currently practices law in the Rio Grande Valley. Mr. Barrera graduated with honors from Texas A&M University-Kingsville where he was also elected student body president. Mr. Barrera went on to graduate from Texas Tech University School of Law where he won a national championship on moot court. Mr. Barrera has been commended by both the Texas House of Representatives and his U.S. Congressman for working above and beyond to help others in defending their rights.

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