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Wylie Family Law AttorneyFor many grandparents, their relationship with their grandkids is the greatest joy of their life. Ideally, visits are enjoyable, and the relationships between all parties are amicable. However, in cases of negligent care or tragic cases of the death of the child’s parents, grandparents may seek custody of their grandchild under Texas law. There are specific scenarios under which a grandparent has legal standing to pursue custody, and it is recommended to consult with a lawyer who can advise you in your case.

Cases When Grandparents Can Petition for Custody in Texas

To provide a stable home life for a child that has been subjected to heartbreak, abuse, or unsafe living conditions, grandparents may pursue being named as their grandchild's managing conservator. This means they would assume responsibility for the child's care and be allowed to make important decisions about their life. For grandparents, these cases are limited by Texas law to one of the following situations:

  • Both parents of the grandchild are deceased.

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shutterstock_1456860602.jpgIf you have been looking into the process of getting a divorce in Texas, but you and your spouse have children together, you may have come across a term known as conservatorship. This word can have different definitions depending on the state in which it is being used. 

For example, a conservatorship in California is not defined in the same way as conservatorships in Texas. In the state of California, a conservatorship is regarded as a dynamic in which one adult is appointed to care for another adult. Conversely, in the eyes of the law in Texas, a conservatorship is synonymous with child custody. 

That said, you will not see the term "child custody" in any legal documents defining the law in Texas. Rather, it will always be referred to as a conservatorship. 

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shutterstock_495872782.pngWhen two parents get divorced, the decision surrounding who will receive child custody rights can be very stressful. If both parents are active participants in their children’s lives, the mere thought of not being able to see their child play during a sports game or drop their kid off for school can be gut-wrenching. 

Thankfully, not all divorces end in total custody being awarded to one parent. In many cases, shared custody is a viable option. While the public opinion is often that mothers are favored in child custody cases, fathers have rights as well.  So, the answer to the question of whether or not a father can receive 50/50 custody in a Texas divorce is yes. Fathers’ rights are very important, and while a certain outcome regarding child custody cannot be promised, fathers should certainly pursue equal child custody rights if that is where their heart lies. 

In Texas law, the term for child custody is "conservatorship." However, the term child custody is still sometimes used informally to refer to parents' child-related rights and responsibilities.

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shutterstock_754746535.jpgIf you are thinking about getting a divorce in Texas, but you are also an active duty member of the military, you might be wondering how your active duty status will affect your child custody rights. It is important to recognize that each state differs in its legal approach to the custody rights of military parents. 

Active Duty Parents and Child Custody Rights in Texas

In Texas, parents are considered active-duty military parents if they meet one of three circumstances. According to Texas Family Code 153.701, the law regards military service in the following ways: 

  • Temporary military duty 

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Filing a SAPCR in Texas

Posted on in Child Custody

TX family lawyerDivorcing adults have to manage many complex issues, especially when there are children in the picture. Parents are deeply invested in the welfare of their children, and when parents view each other as incompetent or malicious, it can be very difficult to reach a compromise about what is in the child’s best interests. A suit affecting the parent-child relationship, or SAPCR, is a legal request to establish or adjust issues related to children during or after a divorce.

What Does a SAPCR Do?

SAPCRs are automatically used when parents file for divorce, and they address the following child-related issues:

  • Child custody, including which parent has conservatorship (decision-making authority)
  • Visitation, including holiday schedules
  • Child support
  • Medical support
  • In addition to divorce, SAPCRs are used when other adult caregivers need to establish legal arrangements for a child for the issues listed above. These caregivers may include, but are not limited to:
  • Parents who are divorced and want to modify a family court order
  • Parents who have legally separated
  • Parents who have never been married
  • A man who is claiming to be the father of a child
  • A non-parent, such as a foster parent or legal guardian, who is involved in a child’s care
  • A close family member who is caring for a child after the child’s parents have died
  • The Texas Department of Family and Protective Services, when they are investigating a case of abuse or neglect and are seeking to remove a child from the custody of one or both parents

When Can a SAPCR Be Filed?

Whenever a parent or any other adult caregiver needs to legally establish or adjust a court order detailing how a child’s needs are addressed, a SAPCR must be used. The child in question must have lived in Texas for at least six months (or, if the child is younger than six months old, since the child’s birth). A SAPCR must be filed in the county where the child lives.

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