In some instances, children live with relatives or individuals who are not related directly to the child. These children are in a legally difficult position and may be at risk of child abuse or displacement if the birth parents or custodial parents return to take the children from the caretakers. The police generally will not become involved in situations such as these and if CPS Child protective Services is called to come to a scene like this, they are unlikely to act quickly to protect the children. In fact, CPS Child Protective Services will sometimes ‘place’ a child with a family member or close friend of the parent they are investigating and may close the case without assisting or counseling a family regarding the necessity of obtaining court orders to force an abusive parent to leave the child in the family member’s care. It is necessary to obtain a court order in Suit Affecting the Parent Child Relationship if you are in this situation to protect the peace of the children and assure they can remain living with the caretaker who has been in their lives.
There are certain time frames that are required for a non-parent caretaker to be able to ask the court to grant them custody of a child that is in their care. Generally, if a non-parent caretaker has had a child in their home for six (6) months, that caretaker can ask the court to grant them custodial rights to the child, determine what visitation is appropriate if any, and set an amount of child support for the parent or parents to pay to the caretaker. There are exceptions to the six (6) month provision and grandparents have certain additional rights in these situations that should be discussed with an attorney.
Grandparents sometimes wish to obtain custody of grandchildren or visitation of grandchildren. In Texas, there are some instances where grandparents can obtain visitation with their grandchildren or can even, given specific facts, can obtain custody of their grandchildren. These instances are based upon the best interest of the child and certain facts.
These cases are very fact specific and you should contact the lawyers at Jeredith Jones, Attorney at Law to discuss your specific situation. They will walk you through your situation and what needs to happen to protect the child in your care.
There are a number of remedies for the situations where children are living with relatives or friends. A custody order that designates the caretaker as the custodial person with the right to designate the residence of the child is the first step. Additional specific orders can be put into place that require clean drug tests prior to visitation, supervised visitation, other creative measures, and child support can be addressed in an order of this nature. Jeredith Jones, Attorney at Law has expertly worked with families in this situation for fifteen years. Prior to becoming an attorney, she worked for Child Protective services in Waco, Texas and observed the number of children living with relatives and friends and understands the desire to protect children in these situations. Further, she passionately advocates for families in these situations because of her work history and dedication to children at risk.
If you are in this situation in Montgomery County, The Woodlands, Conroe, Willis, Montgomery, Magnolia, Splendora, Spring, or Porter, Jeredith Jones, Attorney at Law can help, call for a consultation today.