Custody of a child is one aspect of the parent-child relationship that can be determined in a SAPCR. This page will provide information about how to get custody of a child through the courts.
Most people think of the terms "custody" and "visitation" when it comes to whom the child lives with. Texas law uses the terms "conservatorship," "possession," and "access." The links below provide more information about what these terms mean and how they are used.
Possession orders are documents that say when each parent will spend time with the child. They are usually issued as part of the SAPCR. Courts have the power to enforce these orders if the other parent is not following them.
Upon request by one of the parties in a custody suit, Texas law requires the court to interview a child who is at least twelve years old about their wishes about custody. The court must still make a decision that is in the best interest of the child, but the child can at least have the opportunity to have their preference heard.
If a court from another state or country issued a custody or visitation order while you were living there, upon moving to Texas you can register it with the appropriate Texas court. You might see this referred to as "domesticating a foreign order" or "registering a foreign order." This will allow the Texas court to enforce that order.
Relatives such as grandparents, aunts, uncles, and older siblings caring for a child may run into difficulties if they are not the legal conservator of the child. The resources below contain information that may be helpful for non-parent caregivers.
Certain family circumstances, such as military service or incarceration, may factor into possession and access in Texas. The following links discuss how these circumstances affect SAPCRs.