In Texas, a suit affecting the parent-child relationship is known by the acronym SAPCR. This refers to any lawsuit filed in a Texas Court that affects the interests of a child. Disputes regarding child custody come in all shapes and sizes. Some disputes are fairly narrow, over something like visitation scheduling, whereas others are disputes over whether or not the other parent is fit to be in the child’s life at all. If you have any issue relating to your parental rights, an experienced child custody attorney can help protect your legal rights.
What is at Stake?
SAPCRs cover many different areas of law relating to the interests of the child. This includes child custody, child support, child visitation, and medical support for the child. SAPCR cases are generally to protect your parental rights and the best interest of your child.
Who Can File Under SAPCR?
Texas family law code §102.003 establishes who has legal standing to bring a SAPCR. Many different parties in many different situations can file, including:
- The parent of a child;
- Someone with visitation rights to the child
- A guardian of the child;
- A man alleging paternity;
- A foster parent to the child;
- A blood relative in a case where the child’s parents are deceased;
- A grandparent who meets the standing requirement; and
- A government entity authorized by the state such as the Department of Family and Protective Services.
One exception is that a parent who has previously had their parental rights eliminated by a Texas court no longer has any SAPCR legal standing.
The Best Interest of The Child Standard
In Texas there is a strong presumption in favor of decisions that keep both natural parents involved in the child’s daily life. When a court makes a determination in any SAPCR case, the best interest of the child standard will be the overriding legal principle. The Texas Supreme Court has established a set of factors, known as the Holley factors, that should be considered. The Holley factors include:
- The desires of the child;
- The current and future needs of the child;
- The current and future danger facing the child;
- The parental abilities of the individuals in question;
- Future plans for the child;
- The stability of the homes in question; and
- Any previous acts or omissions by a parent which may indicate their home is not a good one for the child.
The Holley factors are not an exclusive list. The Court can consider virtually anything relevant when deciding the best interest of a child. With so many factors for the Court to weigh, the best interest standard is naturally complex when it is applied to any real world scenario. If you find yourself in this situation, an experienced SAPCR attorney will know how to guide you through the process and will help you present your case.
Contact An Experienced Texas Child Custody Attorney
All disputes involving your children are extremely stressful. Texas’ SAPCR regime is complex and daunting. Jeff Anderson is an experienced child custody attorney who understands every aspect of Texas family law and knows how to successfully craft a legal strategy to help achieve your goals and protect your parental rights. If you have any questions about a SAPCR and how it might apply to your case, contact experienced Dallas family law attorney Jeff Anderson today.