Fathers rally for equal time with children post-divorce

It comes after House Bill 453 failed to receive a public hearing in the last session.

Dozens of fathers and mothers met at the Capitol steps Friday after the failure of House Bill 453 in the last legislative session.

The bill, authored by State Representative James White (R-Woodville),  would automatically give parents 50/50 custody, rather than offering the mother full custody -- traditionally speaking.

Taran Champagne was one of many parents battling it out in the courts for equal time with his three-year-old son. And although he plays a major role in the health and well-being of his son, Finley, what’s missing is valuable time with him.

"How do you explain to a three-year-old child that he's not allowed to see you more often because somebody out the family decided it that way?" Champagne said.

According to The Pew Charitable Trust,  "Colorado, Florida, Maryland, Massachusetts and Missouri are looking at proposals that would require judges to presume that it’s best for children to split their time as evenly as possible between their two parents." 

Many parents at the rally believe the court systems in Texas are not focusing on the core issue.

“It's a billion dollar industry and they're not willing to let go of their cash cow,” rally supporter Ted Vincent said.

He moved from Minnesota to Texas to be closer to his daughter.

"As much as Texas likes to believe they are leading the nation in all kinds of different things, why is it so difficult to lead the nation in such a bill that is so simple,” Vincent said.

He believes what needs to change is the value system.

"The dad was the breadwinner and the mom was the stay-at-home and raise the kid -- that's a value system that has clearly changed.With as many laws that we as inclusion now, our children are the last group to be included,” he added.

The group hopes by bringing more awareness, it will vocalize their need to create a more fair approach for their family.

"Never give up, just keep fighting that's all,” Vincent said, tearing up.

© 2017 KVUE-TV


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