Texas Family Law

If you are separated or will soon separate from your child’s other parent, then it is important to consult with a qualified Texas family law attorney. An attorney can help guide you through the process from the filing of a Suit Affecting the Parent-Child Relationship until a Final Order governing the rights and duties of the child’s parents is entered. An attorney, in addition to playing an important advisory and counseling role, will act as your advocate before the judge in order to help you to maximize your rights and your role in your child’s life.

Contact the Law Office of Pete Rowe for a consultation with a Dallas, Texas family law attorney experienced in areas including modification of child custody and child support orders, enforcement of child custody orders, other remedies for deprivation of child possession, enforcement of child support orders, protective orders, grandparents' rights and LGBT Family and Co-Habitation Issues.

Parental Rights in Texas

The Texas Family Code confers a number of rights and duties upon a child’s parents. These rights and duties include:

  • The right to have physical possession of the child;
  • The right to designate the child’s primary residence;
  • The right to direct the moral and religious training of the child;
  • The duty to support the child’s material, health, and education needs; and
  • The duty to manage the child’s estate.

Suit Affecting the Parent-Child Relationship (SAPCR)

In Texas, when a child’s parents have separated, will separate, or have filed for divorce, a Suit Affecting the Parent-Child Relationship (SAPCR) is generally filed. Following the institution of a SAPCR, the court may enter orders dividing the existing legal rights and duties between the child’s two parents. The court will appoint one or more managing conservators—generally, but not always, the child's parents—to make significant decisions on behalf of the child. The court, when rendering orders affecting the parent-child relationship and dividing legal rights and duties between the parents, is guided by what the court finds to be in the “best interests of the child.” What the court finds to be in the child’s best interests will determine how legal rights and duties are divided among the child’s parents, including which parent is allowed to determine the child’s primary residence and whether (a) both parents are appointed as joint managing conservators of the child or (b) one parent is appointed as the child’s sole managing conservator.

The Best Interests of the Child

There are a variety of factors that guide the court in its finding of what is in the child’s best interests. A non-exhaustive list of those factors include:

  • The desires of the child;
  • The child’s present and future physical and emotional needs;
  • Whether the child is in physical or emotional danger either today or may be in danger in the future;
  • The parenting skills of those seeking custody of the child; and
  • The stability of the home of those seeking custody of the child.

These are but a few of the factors the court will consider in determining what is in the child’s best interests.

The court will use the “child’s best interest” standard to determine what role each parent or conservator plays in the child’s life, what rights and duties are apportioned to each parent, and whether the parents or appointed joint managing conservator or one parent or the other is appointed as sole managing conservator.

Contact a Dallas Family Law Attorney

Contact the Dallas Law Office of Pete Rowe if you need experienced legal representation in a family law matter. Read more below about the law firm's family law services or learn about why clients choose Pete Rowe.

Modification of Child Custody & Child Support Orders

If you previously filed a Suit Affecting the Parent-Child Relationship and the court entered a Final Order, then you may be able to modify those Final Orders if: The child’s circumstances have substantially and materially changed since the Final Or… Read More

Enforcement of Child Custody Orders

A parent or conservator may enforce his or her right to possession of or access to the child through Texas enforcement proceedings. Enforcement is generally referred to as “contempt” or “contempt of court.” If the parent or co… Read More

Other Remedies for Deprivation of Child Possession

Chapter 25 of the Texas Penal Code provides criminal sanctions against a person who takes or retains a child less than 18 years of age when that person knows that the taking or retaining of the child violates the express terms of a Final Order or Tem… Read More

Enforcement of Child Support Orders

If You are Owed Child Support

Paying court-ordered child support is a very serious matter in Texas. If a court has ordered the other parent to pay child support to you and the other parent is not paying, then the law provides you and your attorney with powerful tools for receivin… Read More

Defending Against a Motion to Enforce Child Support

If you have been served with a Motion or Petition to Enforce a Child Support Order by Contempt in Texas, then you are likely aware of the serious consequences you are facing. You may be ordered to be confined to jail for up to six months for each all… Read More

Protective Orders

Getting a Texas Protective Order

Texas law provides a mechanism to protect those who have been victims of family violence or dating violence. You may be eligible for a protective order if a family member, a current or former member of your household, or a current or former dating pa… Read More

If You Have Been Served with a Protective Order

A finding of family or dating violence can stigmatize you, affect your parental rights, and impair your right to possess firearms. If you have been served with a protective order, then call the Dallas Law Office of Pete Rowe today to speak with an at… Read More

Grandparents' Rights

Legal Assistance for Grandparents

When people discuss grandparents’ rights, they are usually referring to a situation in which grandparents on one side of the family or the other are being denied access to visit their grandchildren. In addition to a grandparent’s ability to visit… Read More

Legal Assistance for Parents

If you are a Texas parent who has been sued or threatened with suit by grandparent seeking to assert themselves into your child’s life over your objection, then contact the Dallas Law Office of Pete Rowe. You may have the right to continue to asser… Read More

LGBT Legal Issues

Prior to the Supreme Court’s ruling in Obergefell v. Hodges, same-sex marriage was not recognized in Texas and same-sex couples who were married out-of-state could not get divorced — no matter how difficult the relationship had become. To put it… Read More