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Unmarried fathers face child custody challenges

When a Texas couple enters into a child custody struggle, the matter is usually between a mother and father. In some cases, however, those roles are slightly different from the norm, and the dispute often centers on those differences. One recent celebrity case involving a famous actor highlights the child custody challenges that can arise when parental roles do not conform to the norm.

The case began when actor Jason Patric and his former partner. The pair conceived a child through artificial insemination. However, they were unmarried at the time of conception, and there was no legal documentation that listed Patric as the child's father. As a result, when the pair parted ways, Patric's access to his son was limited.

The former couple has taken the matter to court, and the boy's mother was awarded full child custody. The matter is now headed to an appeals court. In the meantime, Patric won a recent court hearing in which he argued for the right to use his son's name in a public campaign to raise awareness of fathers' rights. The judge ruled that such an action is protected under the First Amendment.

This case may raise awareness of the unique needs that some fathers have in regard to protecting their child custody rights. Establishing paternity or some form of legal bond to their child is the first step in establishing parental rights. That, however, can be a challenge for those in Texas who have come into their parenting role in a non-traditional manner.

Source:, "Jason Patric - Jason Patric Wins Latest Battle In Child Custody War", , April 29, 2014

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