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Legal Information: Texas


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November 5, 2020

Other than a parent, who else can file for managing or possessory conservatorship (custody)?

The following people can file for managing conservatorship:

  1. a child’s great-grandparent, grandparent, uncle, or aunt can file for managing conservatorship if there is “satisfactory” proof that:
    • it is necessary because the child’s present situation is mentally or physically harmful for the child; or
    • both parents, or the surviving parent, or the managing conservator filed the petition or consented to the suit;1
  2. a custodian or person having the right of visitation with or access to the child who was appointed by a court order of another state or country;
  3. a guardian of the person or of the estate of the child;
  4. any person, other than a foster parent. who has had actual care, control, and possession of the child for at least six months ending not more than 90 days before filing;
  5. anyone who lived with the child and the child’s guardian, managing conservator, or parent for at least six months ending not more than 90 days before filing and the child’s guardian, managing conservator or parent is dead when the person files;
  6. a person who was designated as the managing conservator in a revoked or unrevoked affidavit of relinquishment or to whom consent to adoption has been given in writing;
  7. a foster parent who cared for the child for at least 12 months ending not more than 90 days before filing;
  8. a relative of the child within the third degree by consanguinity if the child’s parents are deceased at the time of the filing of the petition;
  9. a person who was named as a prospective adoptive parent of a child by a pregnant woman or the parent of the child, in a verified written statement to confer standing, regardless of whether the child has been born; or
  10. a person who is an intended parent of a child or unborn child under a gestational agreement, assuming that the person filing is filing jointly with the other intended parent under the gestational agreement or against the other intended parent under the gestational agreement.2

    Note: A grandparent or someone who has had significant past contact with the child cannot file a petition for possessory conservatorship unless there is already an open case involving conservatorship of the child. If there is an open case, the judge can allow the grandparent or other person to ask for possessory conservatorship if the judge finds it is in the best interest of the child.3

    1 Tex. Fam. Code § 102.004
    2 Tex. Fam. Code § 102.003
    3 Tex. Fam. Code § 102.004(b)