AUSTIN (CBSDFW.COM) – Texas fathers took to the state capitol today to support a bill for equal parenting, and a Frisco dad was front and center.
Rustin Wright is the father to a ten-year-old son, who says he’s spent his son’s entire life fighting in court for equal custody.
“I’ve spent everything I’ve ever made, maxed out 50 thousand dollars’ worth of credit cards, spent my entire retirement and savings and I literally make a payment to an attorney every month,” he said.
Wright and other fathers are supporting a bill that would give a judge the option for 50-50 custody, after a divorce. They say their kids are better served when they can spend equal amounts of time with mom and dad.
‘Last month, I only got to see my son for 48 hours,” said Wright. “I miss out on being his father and teaching him the things that a father teaches his son.”
The proposal by Representative Gilbert Pena would allow the court to give fit parents equal custody, 50-50 access, unless it was determined that it was not in the best interest of the child. But those against the idea say it will only encourage more litigation.
“At the beginning, after the divorce decree is entered and in modifications,” said Lynn Kamin from the Family Law Foundation.
Kamin says both parents can agree that everything is equal. But when they don’t, a judge must step in and decide what’s in the best interest of the child, not the parent.
“What this proposal will do is throw these children into a situation where when their life is totally in chaos that they are going to be shuffled form one house to the other,” she said.
Texas is not the first state to look into this topic or to try and pass a similar law. The proposal is currently being debated in committee.