Parenting can be messy. It can be especially messy and emotionally tolling when parents are not together, and they must develop a plan to co-parent their child. In Texas and elsewhere, navigating a child custody matter can be challenging; however, some are only faced with child custody battles when new or concerning issues present themselves.
A Texas father recently went through an unheard-of matter in family court. Based on court documents, he was co-parenting with the mother of his young daughter. The parenting relationship was noted as positive, even when both of them moved on to new relationships. However, everything changed when the mother of his daughter tragically died in a car crash.
Following the incident, the mother’s fiancé and her parents filed for joint-custody of the three-year-old girl. The court dismissed the case brought by the grandparents; however, they granted the fiancé visitation rights. The father did not agree with this ruling, as he had only met the man once, and suddenly he was supposed to hand his daughter over to him.
The father sought an appeal of the decision; however, he lost it. He then moved it to the Texas Supreme Court. It was then determined that this decision violated his constitutional rights as a fit parent. This ruling is expected to have a major impact on family law cases moving forward because it had previously been too easy for non-relatives to file for custody.
The rights of parents should be protected, and if a parent is found to be fit, he or she should have regular access to their child. Thus, if a parent is faced with a child custody matter that constrains their rights, it is important that they fully understand their matter and how best to resolve it.