When Child Endangerment Occurs Can You Get Custody?

child endangerment law texas

If you have a relationship with a child whom you love, you may find it impossible to stand by and witness child endangerment. When the abuse is significant and you fear the child will experience serious damage, what are your legal rights?

Child Endangerment: Filing an SAPCR

SAPCR stands for Suit Affecting the Parent-Child Relationship. Under certain conditions, you can file an SAPCR. The purpose of an SAPCR would be to gain conservatorship (custody) of a child when the child is under threat of child endangerment. In Texas, the child’s natural parents have firm rights to the conservatorship of their own child. To overcome this right, the individual seeking conservatorship must prove that the parent seriously endangers the child, or the child was significantly harmed or is at risk of serious harm by staying with the parent or parents.

Under the Texas Family Code, the suit begins with the party filing a petition to the court.

Who Can File an SAPCR?

Fourteen different categories of people have the legal right to file an SAPCR, and they include:

  • A child’s parent
  • The child through a court authorized representative
  • A custodian or person giving visitation rights with access to the child based on a court of another state or country
  • A guardian of the child or of the estate of the child
  • A government entity
  • A licensed child placement agency
  • A man alleging to be the child’s father
  • A person (not referring to a foster parent) who had care, control and possession of the child for the previous six months
  • A person designated managing conservator
  • A person with whom the child and the child’s guardian, managing conservator or parent have resided with for at least six months
  • A foster parent who had the child placed in his/her home for at least 12 months
  • If parents are deceased, a child’s relative with a blood relationship of first, second or third degree (third degrees is uncles/aunts, nieces/nephews, great grandparents, great grandchildren)
  • A person named as a prospective adoptive parent of a child by a pregnant woman or parent of the child

If you have concerns about a child’s welfare and your ability to seek custody, our attorneys at C.E. Borman & Associates, can provide you with trusted legal advice.

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