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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.
Note The 88th Regular Legislative Session ended on May 29th, 2023, and a special session has been called. This means there may be new laws that affect this subject.
Read the library's Spotlight post on the ending of the 88th Regular Session and what comes next. We briefly discuss deadlines, the governor's veto power, and how to find new legislation. To research new legislation on this topic, please see the resources below.
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."
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.
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.