Date of Conferral





Criminal Justice


Jessie Lee


Throughout the years, Texas Family Code: Title 5. The Parent-Child Relationship and the Suit Affecting the Parent-Child Relationship has the coined termed best interest of the child. In fact, it has created an unintentional indoctrination to parental alienation therefore, leaving little to no access for courts to rectify and resolve the parent-child relationship. Arguably, researchers have suggested that the legal system engages in gender ideologies that contributes to parental alienation. The purpose of this study was to examine the lived experiences of African American noncustodial fathers’ interaction and how Texas family code possession order impacts the father-child relationship. Social construction and policy design theory was used to analyze their experience. Using a qualitative phenomenological study, data from seven African American noncustodial fathers were collected. The results of these analyses indicated nine themes that identified the African American noncustodial fathers experience with Texas family code. The nine themes were: (a) great father-child relationship, (b) standard legal rights as a father; (c) child support system biased and unfair treatment toward them as a father; (d) lack of understanding to the term best interest of the child; (e) equal parental rights (time, roles, finances); (f) removing the label of being deadbeat; (g) wanting more parental time with children; (h) updating the child support policies to be fair to mothers and fathers, (i) limited familial structure. Legislators may benefit from the results by creating policies and laws based on scholarly research leading to positive social change.

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