In Texas, an SAPCR can be filed to establish court orders that govern visitation, custody, and child support—chapter 102 of the Texas Family Code details who has standing to file an SAPCR case.
Custody is legally known as conservatorship in Texas, and a judge will make custody, visitation, and child support orders in a SAPCR. These orders focus on the well-being of children.
What is a SAPCR?
A SAPCR is a legal process for the family court to make decisions about custody, visitation, and financial support of children. Texas law has precise guidelines for determining these issues, so working with an experienced attorney is essential.
A SAPCR in Texas may be filed by a parent, guardian, or even a government agency like Child Protective Services (CPS). In most cases, however, the court will initiate the claim. The court’s primary concern is establishing what is best for the children involved.
In most cases, a divorce will involve a SAPCR and include the division of property and potential spousal support. However, an SAPCR can also pertain to separated couples who are not married and need to define the conservatorship of their children. It can even be used for unmarried fathers to establish visitation rights and paternity.
In all these cases, the judge in a SAPCR case will issue orders for custodial rights and responsibilities, visitation, and child support. The court will always look at these things from a child’s perspective and determine what is in the best interests of the child or children. If necessary, a judge can modify these orders if circumstances change. This is a standard part of divorce proceedings in Texas.
Who can file a SAPCR?
A SAPCR can be filed by a parent who has lived in Texas for at least six months. However, individuals who are not parents may have standing to file a suit affecting the parent-child relationship under certain circumstances. This includes grandparents, aunts and uncles, siblings, foster parents, and other family members with actual care, control, or possession of a child or children. Also, the spouse of a child’s parent may file a SAPCR. Additionally, a child or managing conservator may file a SAPCR for financial support and visitation rights.
During an SAPCR, the judge will determine custody, visitation, and medical support. The judge will always make these decisions with the child’s best interests in mind. Texas law states that a child’s well-being must be the primary consideration. Orders for custody, visitation, and maintenance are based on detailed state regulations.
In addition to these standard orders, the court may order that one party pay additional support for a child’s dental insurance and uninsured dental expenses. The courts may enforce these support obligations through civil and criminal contempt, wage garnishment, liens on property, or suspension of a license. If you have questions regarding your rights and responsibilities in a SAPCR, speak with an experienced child custody attorney. They understand Texas child custody laws and can help you protect your parental rights.
What are the requirements for filing a SAPCR?
A SAPCR may be filed by a parent, a concerned relative, or even a step-parent. Whether you are the child’s biological parent or not, you have rights and responsibilities that must be legally established. In this blog, we will explore how non-parents and married individuals can utilize SAPCRs to establish custody, visitation, support, and medical expenses for their children in Texas.
Generally, a divorce involving children will incorporate the terms of an SAPCR into the final divorce decree. However, a SAPCR can be utilized independently of a divorce filing and can apply to any family needing legal custody, visitation, support, or medical expense determinations.
Whether you are currently going through a divorce or need to establish legal orders in your relationship with the child, a SAPCR is a valuable tool for parents, relatives, and step-parents. By understanding the complexities of SAPCRs, you can be better prepared to advocate for your needs and those of the children involved in your case. Having the proper family law attorney on your side can also help you navigate the legal maze of an SAPCR case.
How do I file a SAPCR?
To file a SAPCR, the person filing must meet specific requirements. A parent (whether married or unmarried) or anyone with legal rights to a child can file a SAPCR as long as they have met the Texas Family Code requirements and can demonstrate that they meet the requirements for standing. This includes those who are not the biological parent of a child but have a substantial relationship with the child, such as a step-parent or guardian; a foster parent who has cared for the child or children for at least six months or is willing to sign court forms for an uncontested SAPCR; a grandparent or other relative of the child who meets the Texas Family Code requirements; a sibling of the child; or the surviving spouse of the child’s deceased parent or legal guardian.
A SAPCR can be filed as part of a divorce case or as a separate proceeding. It may include paternity, custody (conservatorship), visitation, and support. A SAPCR must be filed in the county where the child lives or has lived for at least six months. Once a final SAPCR order is issued, it will remain in effect unless a petition to modify the terms is filed.
SAPCRs are complex matters that require a keen understanding of family law. An experienced attorney can guide a client through the process.