Suit Affecting the Parent Child Relationship (SAPCR)
When two people have a child together but are not married, one parent can petition the court to put an order into place that defines the legal roles of each parent, when each parent will be able to spend time with their children, who should receive and pay for child support, the amount of child support, and other situations that occur in a two household family. When the parent files a Suit Affecting the Parent Child Relationship, the court will decide these issues for the parents or the parents can enter into an agreement regarding these issues.
These issues are also decided during the course of a Divorce in a similar way. There are only a few differences between a Child Custody case when parents have never been married and when parents have been married. The most significant difference is the determination in a child custody case where parents are not married that the alleged father becomes named the adjudicated father. An adjudicated father is recognized by the court as having certain legal rights in a court of law. There are other was to be legally named the father of the child including having a child during a marriage, signing an acknowledgment of paternity, and signing up for the parental registry.
In Texas, Child Custody includes the parent’s rights to make decisions for their children including the children’s physical health, religious upbringing, where the children will attend school, what activities they will participate in, and many other aspects of a child’s daily life. A Suit Affecting the Parent Child Relationship or Custody case will designate which parent gets to make the decisions for the children. In most cases, the parents will be able to make decisions together. Joint decision making is called Joint Managing Conservatorship. Joint Managing Conservatorship is the default order in the state of Texas and most parents can agree on the bigger issues that affect the children. A Custody order can also include requirements that the parties share information regarding the health care providers for the children, educators, therapists, or activity schedules. In this technological age, there is even an App that allows parents to talk about these issues through a website that a judge can look at if it is believed that one party is withholding information or otherwise will not appropriately communicate.
In an instance where one parent cannot make appropriate decisions for the children, it may be necessary or likely that the court would grant the other parent Sole Managing Conservator so that there is no interference with appropriate care of the children. These types of cases can be high conflict. If a party is granted Sole Managing Conservator, that party will be allowed to make decisions without the input of the other party and without the necessity of agreement with the other party. A party who is granted all of the decision making abilities is called the Sole Managing Conservator and the party who is excluded from making decisions is called the Possessory Conservator. Obtaining Sole Managing Conservatorship is an extreme measure and if you believe that it is necessary in your case, please call us.
Issues of child support, paying for the children’s medical insurance, and other more unique situations often come up between two people who share a child. In most instances, measures can be put into place to assure that each person bound by the child custody order will know what needs to be done for the child and to effect positive communication and address concerns between the two parents for the benefit of the child.
The Child Custody attorneys at Jeredith Jones, Attorney at Law have significant experience assisting parents with these issues. We expertly and diligently serve clients in Montgomery County, The Woodlands, Conroe, Magnolia, Willis, Splendora, Montgomery, Liberty County, Harris County, and Walker County.