Saturday, May 03, 2014

The Perception of Bias in Family Courts

The Texas Family Code says that in seeking custody of children and rights of a parent, there should be no bias by the judge based on the sex of the party, or of the child. (Sec. 153.003).  That is, the old idea that children should be with their mother in all cases is no longer used in courts.

But what is the law and what is really in the minds of family judges are sometimes two different things.  Fathers who have fought for custody and won still believe that the cards were stacked against them.  One father who won custody still had this to say:

"The courts are heavily biased.  They made me feel ashamed to ask for custody.  Laws seem equitable but are not practiced by older judges as they should be.  They stereotype a lot.  To get custody you have to head and shoulders above your wife.  Fathers don't seem to get custody when the wife is seen as competent."

Fathers complain that they have to spend thousands to protect what is theirs and mothers usually have the upper hand.  It is many fathers' perception that the courts are biased against because of their gender and are at the mercy of an archaic set of values that, though no longer technically exists in Texas, is still exercised by judges.  And the scary part is that these judges have almost limitless power in deciding what is "best" for your children.

Here is where an experienced family law attorney can make all the difference for a father seeking a fair custody or child support order.  The lawyer is a key player not only in providing legal and emotional support, but in setting the overall tone of the case.  With the father's input, an experience attorney can decide which issues to raise in court and how to include the children.  The lawyer can offer impression about the judge's hot buttons and soft spots regarding what is best for children.  And most significantly, the lawyer can give special attention to the impact of any bias that may be held against the father or against the mother.

If you feel you need help or advice with a child custody or child support case in Harris or Galveston county, contact the Palmer Law Firm for a free consultation.  Call 832-819-DLAW(3529) or visit us at  At the Palmer Law Firm, We Can't Protect Your Heart, But We Can Protect Your Rights.