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Child Custody and Support

This is a guide to laws, books, and other resources covering child support and child custody.

General Information


Note Child custody & support procedures may be impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Please see the Family Issues page on the COVID-19 & Texas Law research guide for current information related to COVID-19 and child custody and support.

About This Guide

This research guide will help you find legal information about child custody, support, and visitation in Texas. 

The first page of this guide explains the parent-child relationship in general. It has information about custody suits, known as "Suits Affecting the Parent Child Relationship" (SAPCR). The next pages of the guide contain information on child custody and child support.

The Practice Aids page has a list of books at our library written for attorneys. They have forms and guidance about different legal processes. Self-represented litigants may also find them helpful.

The Parent-Child Relationship

Texas law establishes the rights and responsibilities of all parents. Mothers and fathers have the same rights under the law.

If parents divorce, the law presumes that the parents should be "joint managing conservators." This means that they would share decision-making responsibilities about a child. It does not necessarily mean that their time would be evenly split between parents. 

If there is family violence or a parent is absent, one parent may be named a "sole managing conservator."

Original Suits Affecting the Parent-Child Relationship

In order to get a court order for child support, custody, or visitation, you will need to file a Suit Affecting the Parent-Child Relationship, or SAPCR ("sap sir"). The links below will explain the process and provide forms for filing your SAPCR.

If you need to change an existing SAPCR, please see our page on Modifying a SAPCR.

Texas Law

Forms and more

E-Books Available at the State Law Library

If you have a library account in good standing, you can check out an OverDrive e-book title or access our remote databases. Don't have a library account? Texas residents can register for a library account from home! Learn more about how to register from home.

Below are some e-book titles that may help you with your research on child custody and support.