Law:Title 5. The Parent-child Relationship And The Suit Affecting The Parent-child Relationship. Subtitle B. Suits Affecting The Parent-child Relationship from Chapter 153. Conservatorship, Possession, And Access (Texas)

From Law Delta

Revision as of 21:04, 28 September 2011 by Admin (Talk | contribs)
(diff) ← Older revision | Latest revision (diff) | Newer revision → (diff)
Jump to: navigation, search

Subtitle B. Suits Affecting The Parent-child Relationship

Contents

Chapter 153. Conservatorship, Possession, And Access

Subchapter A. General Provisions

Section  153.001.  Public Policy.

(a) The public policy of this state is to:

(1)  assure that children will have frequent and continuing contact with parents who have shown the ability to act in the best interest of the child;

(2)  provide a safe, stable, and nonviolent environment for the child; and

(3)  encourage parents to share in the rights and duties of raising their child after the parents have separated or dissolved their marriage.

(b)  A court may not render an order that conditions the right of a conservator to possession of or access to a child on the payment of child support.

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 20, Sec. 1, eff. April 20, 1995. Amended by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 751, Sec. 25, eff. Sept. 1, 1995; Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 787, Sec. 2, eff. Sept. 1, 1999.



Section  153.002.  Best Interest Of Child.

The best interest of the child shall always be the primary consideration of the court in determining the issues of conservatorship and possession of and access to the child.

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 20, Sec. 1, eff. April 20, 1995.



Section  153.003.  No Discrimination Based On Sex Or Marital Status.

The court shall consider the qualifications of the parties without regard to their marital status or to the sex of the party or the child in determining:

(1)  which party to appoint as sole managing conservator;

(2)  whether to appoint a party as joint managing conservator; and

(3)  the terms and conditions of conservatorship and possession of and access to the child.

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 20, Sec. 1, eff. April 20, 1995.



Section  153.004.  History Of Domestic Violence.

(a) In determining whether to appoint a party as a sole or joint managing conservator, the court shall consider evidence of the intentional use of abusive physical force by a party against the party's spouse, a parent of the child, or any person younger than 18 years of age committed within a two-year period preceding the filing of the suit or during the pendency of the suit.

(b)  The court may not appoint joint managing conservators if credible evidence is presented of a history or pattern of past or present child neglect, or physical or sexual abuse by one parent directed against the other parent, a spouse, or a child, including a sexual assault in violation of Section 22.011 or 22.021, Penal Code, that results in the other parent becoming pregnant with the child. A history of sexual abuse includes a sexual assault that results in the other parent becoming pregnant with the child, regardless of the prior relationship of the parents. It is a rebuttable presumption that the appointment of a parent as the sole managing conservator of a child or as the conservator who has the exclusive right to determine the primary residence of a child is not in the best interest of the child if credible evidence is presented of a history or pattern of past or present child neglect, or physical or sexual abuse by that parent directed against the other parent, a spouse, or a child.

(c)  The court shall consider the commission of family violence in determining whether to deny, restrict, or limit the possession of a child by a parent who is appointed as a possessory conservator.

(d)  The court may not allow a parent to have access to a child for whom it is shown by a preponderance of the evidence that there is a history or pattern of committing family violence during the two years preceding the date of the filing of the suit or during the pendency of the suit, unless the court:

(1)  finds that awarding the parent access to the child would not endanger the child's physical health or emotional welfare and would be in the best interest of the child; and

(2)  renders a possession order that is designed to protect the safety and well-being of the child and any other person who has been a victim of family violence committed by the parent and that may include a requirement that:

(A)  the periods of access be continuously supervised by an entity or person chosen by the court;

(B)  the exchange of possession of the child occur in a protective setting;

(C)  the parent abstain from the consumption of alcohol or a controlled substance, as defined by Chapter 481, Health and Safety Code, within 12 hours prior to or during the period of access to the child; or

(D)  the parent attend and complete a battering intervention and prevention program as provided by Article 42.141, Code of Criminal Procedure, or, if such a program is not available, complete a course of treatment under Section 153.010.

(e)  It is a rebuttable presumption that it is not in the best interest of a child for a parent to have unsupervised visitation with the child if credible evidence is presented of a history or pattern of past or present child neglect or physical or sexual abuse by that parent directed against the other parent, a spouse, or a child.

(f)  In determining under this section whether there is credible evidence of a history or pattern of past or present child neglect or physical or sexual abuse by a parent directed against the other parent, a spouse, or a child, the court shall consider whether a protective order was rendered under Chapter 85, Title 4, against the parent during the two-year period preceding the filing of the suit or during the pendency of the suit.

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 20, Sec. 1, eff. April 20, 1995. Amended by Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 774, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1999; Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 787, Sec. 3, eff. Sept. 1, 1999; Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 586, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 2001; Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 642, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.



Section  153.005.  Appointment Of Sole Or Joint Managing Conservator.

(a) In a suit, the court may appoint a sole managing conservator or may appoint joint managing conservators. If the parents are or will be separated, the court shall appoint at least one managing conservator.

(b)  A managing conservator must be a parent, a competent adult, an authorized agency, or a licensed child-placing agency.

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 20, Sec. 1, eff. April 20, 1995.



Section  153.006.  Appointment Of Possessory Conservator.

(a) If a managing conservator is appointed, the court may appoint one or more possessory conservators.

(b)  The court shall specify the rights and duties of a person appointed possessory conservator.

(c)  The court shall specify and expressly state in the order the times and conditions for possession of or access to the child, unless a party shows good cause why specific orders would not be in the best interest of the child.

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 20, Sec. 1, eff. April 20, 1995.



Section 153.007.  Agreed Parenting Plan.

(a) To promote the amicable settlement of disputes between the parties to a suit, the parties may enter into a written agreed parenting plan containing provisions for conservatorship and possession of the child and for modification of the parenting plan, including variations from the standard possession order.

(b)  If the court finds that the agreed parenting plan is in the child's best interest, the court shall render an order in accordance with the parenting plan.

(c)  Terms of the agreed parenting plan contained in the order or incorporated by reference regarding conservatorship or support of or access to a child in an order may be enforced by all remedies available for enforcement of a judgment, including contempt, but are not enforceable as a contract.

(d)  If the court finds the agreed parenting plan is not in the child's best interest, the court may request the parties to submit a revised parenting plan.  If the parties do not submit a revised parenting plan satisfactory to the court, the court may, after notice and hearing, order a parenting plan that the court finds to be in the best interest of the child.

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 20, Sec. 1, eff. April 20, 1995. Amended by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 751, Sec. 26, eff. Sept. 1, 1995.

Amended by:

Acts 2005, 79th Leg., Ch. 482, Sec. 3, eff. September 1, 2005.

Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1181, Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2007.



Section  153.0071.  Alternate Dispute Resolution Procedures.

(a) On written agreement of the parties, the court may refer a suit affecting the parent-child relationship to arbitration. The agreement must state whether the arbitration is binding or non-binding.

(b)  If the parties agree to binding arbitration, the court shall render an order reflecting the arbitrator's award unless the court determines at a non-jury hearing that the award is not in the best interest of the child. The burden of proof at a hearing under this subsection is on the party seeking to avoid rendition of an order based on the arbitrator's award.

(c)  On the written agreement of the parties or on the court's own motion, the court may refer a suit affecting the parent-child relationship to mediation.

(d)  A mediated settlement agreement is binding on the parties if the agreement:

(1)  provides, in a prominently displayed statement that is in boldfaced type or capital letters or underlined, that the agreement is not subject to revocation;

(2)  is signed by each party to the agreement; and

(3)  is signed by the party's attorney, if any, who is present at the time the agreement is signed.

(e)  If a mediated settlement agreement meets the requirements of Subsection (d), a party is entitled to judgment on the mediated settlement agreement notwithstanding Rule 11, Texas Rules of Civil Procedure, or another rule of law.

(e-1)  Notwithstanding Subsections (d) and (e), a court may decline to enter a judgment on a mediated settlement agreement if the court finds that:

(1)  a party to the agreement was a victim of family violence, and that circumstance impaired the party's ability to make decisions; and

(2)  the agreement is not in the child's best interest.

(f)  A party may at any time prior to the final mediation order file a written objection to the referral of a suit affecting the parent-child relationship to mediation on the basis of family violence having been committed by another party against the objecting party or a child who is the subject of the suit. After an objection is filed, the suit may not be referred to mediation unless, on the request of a party, a hearing is held and the court finds that a preponderance of the evidence does not support the objection. If the suit is referred to mediation, the court shall order appropriate measures be taken to ensure the physical and emotional safety of the party who filed the objection. The order shall provide that the parties not be required to have face-to-face contact and that the parties be placed in separate rooms during mediation. This subsection does not apply to suits filed under Chapter 262.

(g)  The provisions for confidentiality of alternative dispute resolution procedures under Chapter 154, Civil Practice and Remedies Code, apply equally to the work of a parenting coordinator, as defined by Section 153.601, and to the parties and any other person who participates in the parenting coordination.  This subsection does not affect the duty of a person to report abuse or neglect under Section 261.101.

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 751, Sec. 27, eff. Sept. 1, 1995. Amended by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 937, Sec. 3, eff. Sept. 1, 1997; Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 178, Sec. 7, eff. Aug. 30, 1999; Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 1351, Sec. 2, eff. Sept. 1, 1999.

Amended by:

Acts 2005, 79th Leg., Ch. 916, Sec. 7, eff. June 18, 2005.

Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1181, Sec. 2, eff. September 1, 2007.



Section  153.0072.  Collaborative Law.

(a) On a written agreement of the parties and their attorneys, a suit affecting the parent-child relationship may be conducted under collaborative law procedures.

(b)  Collaborative law is a procedure in which the parties and their counsel agree in writing to use their best efforts and make a good faith attempt to resolve the suit affecting the parent-child relationship on an agreed basis without resorting to judicial intervention except to have the court approve the settlement agreement, make the legal pronouncements, and sign the orders required by law to effectuate the agreement of the parties as the court determines appropriate. The parties' counsel may not serve as litigation counsel except to ask the court to approve the settlement agreement.

(c)  A collaborative law agreement must include provisions for:

(1)  full and candid exchange of information between the parties and their attorneys as necessary to make a proper evaluation of the case;

(2)  suspending court intervention in the dispute while the parties are using collaborative law procedures;

(3)  hiring experts, as jointly agreed, to be used in the procedure;

(4)  withdrawal of all counsel involved in the collaborative law procedure if the collaborative law procedure does not result in settlement of the dispute; and

(5)  other provisions as agreed to by the parties consistent with a good faith effort to collaboratively settle the matter.

(d)  Notwithstanding Rule 11, Texas Rules of Civil Procedure, or another rule or law, a party is entitled to judgment on a collaborative law settlement agreement if the agreement:

(1)  provides, in a prominently displayed statement that is boldfaced, capitalized, or underlined, that the agreement is not subject to revocation; and

(2)  is signed by each party to the agreement and the attorney of each party.

(e)  Subject to Subsection (g), a court that is notified 30 days before trial that the parties are using collaborative law procedures to attempt to settle a dispute may not, until a party notifies the court that the collaborative law procedures did not result in a settlement:

(1)  set a hearing or trial in the case;

(2)  impose discovery deadlines;

(3)  require compliance with scheduling orders; or

(4)  dismiss the case.

(f)  The parties shall notify the court if the collaborative law procedures result in a settlement. If they do not, the parties shall file:

(1)  a status report with the court not later than the 180th day after the date of the written agreement to use the procedures; and

(2)  a status report on or before the first anniversary of the date of the written agreement to use the procedures, accompanied by a motion for continuance that the court shall grant if the status report indicates the desire of the parties to continue to use collaborative law procedures.

(g)  If the collaborative law procedures do not result in a settlement on or before the second anniversary of the date that the suit was filed, the court may:

(1)  set the suit for trial on the regular docket; or

(2)  dismiss the suit without prejudice.

(h)  The provisions for confidentiality of alternative dispute resolution procedures as provided in Chapter 154, Civil Practice and Remedies Code, apply equally to collaborative law procedures under this section.

Added by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 1022, Sec. 2, eff. Sept. 1, 2001.

Amended by:

Acts 2005, 79th Leg., Ch. 916, Sec. 8, eff. June 18, 2005.



Section 153.009.  Interview Of Child In Chambers.

(a) In a nonjury trial or at a hearing, on the application of a party, the  amicus attorney, or the attorney ad litem for the child, the court shall interview in chambers a child 12 years of age or older and may interview in chambers a child under 12 years of age to determine the child's wishes as to conservatorship or as to the person who shall have the exclusive right to determine the child's primary residence.  The court may also interview a child in chambers on the court's own motion for a purpose specified by this subsection.

(b)  In a nonjury trial or at a hearing, on the application of a party, the amicus attorney, or the attorney ad litem for the child or on the court's own motion, the court may interview the child in chambers to determine the child's wishes as to possession,  access, or any other issue in the suit affecting the parent-child relationship.

(c)  Interviewing a child does not diminish the discretion of the court in determining the best interests of the child.

(d)  In a jury trial, the court may not interview the child in chambers regarding an issue on which a party is entitled to a jury verdict.

(e)  In any trial or hearing, the court may permit the attorney for a party, the amicus attorney, the guardian ad litem for the child, or the attorney ad litem for the child to be present at the interview.

(f)  On the motion of a party, the amicus attorney, or the attorney ad litem for the child, or on the court's own motion, the court shall cause a record of the interview to be made when the child is 12 years of age or older.  A record of the interview shall be part of the record in the case.

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 20, Sec. 1, eff. April 20, 1995. Amended by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 781, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1997; Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 1289, Sec. 2, eff. Sept. 1, 2001.

Amended by:

Acts 2005, 79th Leg., Ch. 916, Sec. 9, eff. June 18, 2005.



Section  153.010.  Order For Family Counseling.

(a) If the court finds at the time of a hearing that the parties have a history of conflict in resolving an issue of conservatorship or possession of or access to the child, the court may order a party to:

(1)  participate in counseling with a mental health professional who:

(A)  has a background in family therapy;

(B)  has a mental health license that requires as a minimum a master's degree; and

(C)  has training in domestic violence if the court determines that the training is relevant to the type of counseling needed; and

(2)  pay the cost of counseling.

(b)  If a person possessing the requirements of Subsection (a)(1) is not available in the county in which the court presides, the court may appoint a person the court believes is qualified to conduct the counseling ordered under Subsection (a).

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 20, Sec. 1, eff. April 20, 1995. Amended by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 645, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1997.



Section  153.011.  Security Bond.

If the court finds that a person who has a possessory interest in a child may violate the court order relating to the interest, the court may order the party to execute a bond or deposit security. The court shall set the amount and condition the bond or security on compliance with the order.

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 20, Sec. 1, eff. April 20, 1995.



Section  153.012.  Right To Privacy; Deletion Of Personal Information In Records.

The court may order the custodian of records to delete all references in the records to the place of residence of either party appointed as a conservator of the child before the release of the records to another party appointed as a conservator.

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 20, Sec. 1, eff. April 20, 1995.



Section  153.013.  False Report Of Child Abuse.

(a) If a party to a pending suit affecting the parent-child relationship makes a report alleging child abuse by another party to the suit that the reporting party knows lacks a factual foundation, the court shall deem the report to be a knowingly false report.

(b)  Evidence of a false report of child abuse is admissible in a suit between the involved parties regarding the terms of conservatorship of a child.

(c)  If the court makes a finding under Subsection (a), the court shall impose a civil penalty not to exceed $500.

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 751, Sec. 28, eff. Sept. 1, 1995. Amended by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 786, Sec. 2, eff. Sept. 1, 1997.



Section  153.014.  Visitation Centers And Visitation Exchange Facilities.

A county may establish a visitation center or a visitation exchange facility for the purpose of facilitating the terms of a court order providing for the possession of or access to a child.

Added by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 577, Sec. 1, eff. June 11, 2001.



Section 153.015.  Electronic Communication With Child By Conservator.

(a) In this section, "electronic communication" means any communication facilitated by the use of any wired or wireless technology via the Internet or any other electronic media.  The term includes communication facilitated by the use of a telephone, electronic mail, instant messaging, videoconferencing, or webcam.

(b)  If a conservator of a child requests the court to order periods of electronic communication with the child under this section, the court may award the conservator reasonable periods of electronic communication with the child to supplement the conservator's periods of possession of the child.  In determining whether to award electronic communication, the court shall consider:

(1)  whether electronic communication is in the best interest of the child;

(2)  whether equipment necessary to facilitate the electronic communication is reasonably available to all parties subject to the order; and

(3)  any other factor the court considers appropriate.

(c)  If a court awards a conservator periods of electronic communication with a child under this section, each conservator subject to the court's order shall:

(1)  provide the other conservator with the e-mail address and other electronic communication access information of the child;

(2)  notify the other conservator of any change in the e-mail address or other electronic communication access information not later than 24 hours after the date the change takes effect; and

(3)  if necessary equipment is reasonably available, accommodate electronic communication with the child, with the same privacy, respect, and dignity accorded all other forms of access, at a reasonable time and for a reasonable duration subject to any limitation provided by the court in the court's order.

(d)  The court may not consider the availability of electronic communication as a factor in determining child support.  The availability of electronic communication under this section is not intended as a substitute for physical possession of or access to the child where otherwise appropriate.

(e)  In a suit in which the court's order contains provisions related to a finding of family violence in the suit, including supervised visitation, the court may award periods of electronic communication under this section only if:

(1)  the award and terms of the award are mutually agreed to by the parties; and

(2)  the terms of the award:

(A)  are printed in the court's order in boldfaced, capitalized type; and

(B)  include any specific restrictions relating to family violence or supervised visitation, as applicable, required by other law to be included in a possession or access order.

Added by Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 972, Sec. 7, eff. September 1, 2007.



Subchapter B. Parent Appointed As Conservator: In General

Section  153.071.  Court To Specify Rights And Duties Of Parent Appointed A Conservator.

If both parents are appointed as conservators of the child, the court shall specify the rights and duties of a parent that are to be exercised:

(1)  by each parent independently;

(2)  by the joint agreement of the parents; and

(3)  exclusively by one parent.

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 20, Sec. 1, eff. April 20, 1995.



Section  153.072.  Written Finding Required To Limit Parental Rights And Duties.

The court may limit the rights and duties of a parent appointed as a conservator if the court makes a written finding that the limitation is in the best interest of the child.

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 20, Sec. 1, eff. April 20, 1995.



Section  153.073.  Rights Of Parent At All Times.

(a) Unless limited by court order, a parent appointed as a conservator of a child has at all times the right:

(1)  to receive information from any other conservator of the child concerning the health, education, and welfare of the child;

(2)  to confer with the other parent to the extent possible before making a decision concerning the health, education, and welfare of the child;

(3)  of access to medical, dental, psychological, and educational records of the child;

(4)  to consult with a physician, dentist, or psychologist of the child;

(5)  to consult with school officials concerning the child's welfare and educational status, including school activities;

(6)  to attend school activities;

(7)  to be designated on the child's records as a person to be notified in case of an emergency;

(8)  to consent to medical, dental, and surgical treatment during an emergency involving an immediate danger to the health and safety of the child; and

(9)  to manage the estate of the child to the extent the estate has been created by the parent or the parent's family.

(b)  The court shall specify in the order the rights that a parent retains at all times.

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 20, Sec. 1, eff. April 20, 1995. Amended by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 751, Sec. 29, eff. Sept. 1, 1995; Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 1036, Sec. 6, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.



Section  153.074.  Rights And Duties During Period Of Possession.

Unless limited by court order, a parent appointed as a conservator of a child has the following rights and duties during the period that the parent has possession of the child:

(1)  the duty of care, control, protection, and reasonable discipline of the child;

(2)  the duty to support the child, including providing the child with clothing, food, shelter, and medical and dental care not involving an invasive procedure;

(3)  the right to consent for the child to medical and dental care not involving an invasive procedure; and

(4)  the right to direct the moral and religious training of the child.

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 20, Sec. 1, eff. April 20, 1995. Amended by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 751, Sec. 30, eff. Sept. 1, 1995; Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 1036, Sec. 7, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.



Section  153.075.  Duties Of Parent Not Appointed Conservator.

The court may order a parent not appointed as a managing or a possessory conservator to perform other parental duties, including paying child support.

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 20, Sec. 1, eff. April 20, 1995.



Section  153.076.   Duty To Provide Information.

(a) The court shall order that each conservator of a child has a duty to inform the other conservator of the child in a timely manner of significant information concerning the health, education, and welfare of the child.

(b)  The court shall order that each conservator of a child has the duty to inform the other conservator of the child if the conservator resides with for at least 30 days, marries, or intends to marry a person who the conservator knows:

(1)  is registered as a sex offender under Chapter 62, Code of Criminal Procedure; or

(2)  is currently charged with an offense for which on conviction the person would be required to register under that chapter.

(c)  The notice required to be made under Subsection (b) must be made as soon as practicable but not later than the 40th day after the date the conservator of the child begins to reside with the person or the 10th day after the date the marriage occurs, as appropriate. The notice must include a description of the offense that is the basis of the person's requirement to register as a sex offender or of the offense with which the person is charged.

(d)  A conservator commits an offense if the conservator fails to provide notice in the manner required by Subsections (b) and (c). An offense under this subsection is a Class C misdemeanor.

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 751, Sec. 31, eff. Sept. 1, 1995. Amended by Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 330, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1999; Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 1036, Sec. 8, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.



Subchapter C. Parent Appointed As Sole Or Joint Managing Conservator

Section  153.131.  Presumption That Parent To Be Appointed Managing Conservator.

(a) Subject to the prohibition in Section 153.004, unless the court finds that appointment of the parent or parents would not be in the best interest of the child because the appointment would significantly impair the child's physical health or emotional development, a parent shall be appointed sole managing conservator or both parents shall be appointed as joint managing conservators of the child.

(b)  It is a rebuttable presumption that the appointment of the parents of a child as joint managing conservators is in the best interest of the child. A finding of a history of family violence involving the parents of a child removes the presumption under this subsection.

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 20, Sec. 1, eff. April 20, 1995. Amended by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 751, Sec. 32, eff. Sept. 1, 1995; Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 1193, Sec. 20, eff. Sept. 1, 1997.



Section 153.132.  Rights And Duties Of Parent Appointed Sole Managing Conservator.

Unless limited by court order, a parent appointed as sole managing conservator of a child has the rights and duties provided by Subchapter B and the following exclusive rights:

(1)  the right to designate the primary residence of the child;

(2)  the right to consent to medical, dental, and surgical treatment involving invasive procedures;

(3)  the right to consent to psychiatric and psychological treatment;

(4)  the right to receive and give receipt for periodic payments for the support of the child and to hold or disburse these funds for the benefit of the child;

(5)  the right to represent the child in legal action and to make other decisions of substantial legal significance concerning the child;

(6)  the right to consent to marriage and to enlistment in the armed forces of the United States;

(7)  the right to make decisions concerning the child's education;

(8)  the right to the services and earnings of the child; and

(9)  except when a guardian of the child's estate or a guardian or attorney ad litem has been appointed for the child, the right to act as an agent of the child in relation to the child's estate if the child's action is required by a state, the United States, or a foreign government.

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 20, Sec. 1, eff. April 20, 1995. Amended by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 751, Sec. 33, eff. Sept. 1, 1995; Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 1036, Sec. 9, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.

Amended by:

Acts 2005, 79th Leg., Ch. 916, Sec. 10, eff. June 18, 2005.



Section 153.133.  Parenting Plan For Joint Managing Conservatorship.

(a) If a written agreed parenting plan is filed with the court, the court shall render an order appointing the parents as joint managing conservators only if the parenting plan:

(1)  designates the conservator who has the exclusive right to designate the primary residence of the child and:

(A)  establishes, until modified by further order, the geographic area within which the conservator shall maintain the child's primary residence; or

(B)  specifies that the conservator may designate the child's primary residence without regard to geographic location;

(2)  specifies the rights and duties of each parent regarding the child's physical care, support, and education;

(3)  includes provisions to minimize disruption of the child's education, daily routine, and association with friends;

(4)  allocates between the parents, independently, jointly, or exclusively, all of the remaining rights and duties of a parent provided by Chapter 151;

(5)  is voluntarily and knowingly made by each parent and has not been repudiated by either parent at the time the order is rendered; and

(6)  is in the best interest of the child.

(b)  The agreed parenting plan may contain an alternative dispute resolution procedure that the parties agree to use before requesting enforcement or modification of the terms and conditions of the joint conservatorship through litigation, except in an emergency.

(c)  Notwithstanding Subsection (a)(1), the court shall render an order adopting the provisions of a written agreed parenting plan appointing the parents as joint managing conservators if the parenting plan:

(1)  meets all the requirements of Subsections (a)(2) through (6); and

(2)  provides that the child's primary residence shall be within a specified geographic area.

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 20, Sec. 1, eff. April 20, 1995. Amended by Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 936, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1999; Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 1036, Sec. 10, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.

Amended by:

Acts 2005, 79th Leg., Ch. 482, Sec. 4, eff. September 1, 2005.

Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1181, Sec. 3, eff. September 1, 2007.

Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 1113, Sec. 3, eff. September 1, 2009.



Section  153.134.  Court-ordered Joint Conservatorship.

(a) If a written agreed parenting plan is not filed with the court, the court may render an order appointing the parents joint managing conservators only if the appointment is in the best interest of the child, considering the following factors:

(1)  whether the physical, psychological, or emotional needs and development of the child will benefit from the appointment of joint managing conservators;

(2)  the ability of the parents to give first priority to the welfare of the child and reach shared decisions in the child's best interest;

(3)  whether each parent can encourage and accept a positive relationship between the child and the other parent;

(4)  whether both parents participated in child rearing before the filing of the suit;

(5)  the geographical proximity of the parents' residences;

(6)  if the child is 12 years of age or older, the child's preference, if any, regarding the person to have the exclusive right to designate the primary residence of the child; and

(7)  any other relevant factor.

(b)  In rendering an order appointing joint managing conservators, the court shall:

(1)  designate the conservator who has the exclusive right to determine the primary residence of the child and:

(A)  establish, until modified by further order, a geographic area within which the conservator shall maintain the child's primary residence; or

(B)  specify that the conservator may determine the child's primary residence without regard to geographic location;

(2)  specify the rights and duties of each parent regarding the child's physical care, support, and education;

(3)  include provisions to minimize disruption of the child's education, daily routine, and association with friends;

(4)  allocate between the parents, independently, jointly, or exclusively, all of the remaining rights and duties of a parent as provided by Chapter 151; and

(5)  if feasible, recommend that the parties use an alternative dispute resolution method before requesting enforcement or modification of the terms and conditions of the joint conservatorship through litigation, except in an emergency.

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 20, Sec. 1, eff. April 20, 1995. Amended by Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 936, Sec. 2, eff. Sept. 1, 1999; Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 1036, Sec. 11, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.

Amended by:

Acts 2005, 79th Leg., Ch. 482, Sec. 5, eff. September 1, 2005.

Acts 2005, 79th Leg., Ch. 916, Sec. 11, eff. June 18, 2005.



Section  153.135.  Equal Possession Not Required.

Joint managing conservatorship does not require the award of equal or nearly equal periods of physical possession of and access to the child to each of the joint conservators.

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 20, Sec. 1, eff. April 20, 1995.



Section  153.138.  Child Support Order Affecting Joint Conservators.

The appointment of joint managing conservators does not impair or limit the authority of the court to order a joint managing conservator to pay child support to another joint managing conservator.

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 20, Sec. 1, eff. April 20, 1995.



Subchapter D. Parent Appointed As Possessory Conservator

Section  153.191.  Presumption That Parent To Be Appointed Possessory Conservator.

The court shall appoint as a possessory conservator a parent who is not appointed as a sole or joint managing conservator unless it finds that the appointment is not in the best interest of the child and that parental possession or access would endanger the physical or emotional welfare of the child.

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 20, Sec. 1, eff. April 20, 1995.



Section  153.192.  Rights And Duties Of Parent Appointed Possessory Conservator.

(a) Unless limited by court order, a parent appointed as possessory conservator of a child has the rights and duties provided by Subchapter B and any other right or duty expressly granted to the possessory conservator in the order.

(b)  In ordering the terms and conditions for possession of a child by a parent appointed possessory conservator, the court shall be guided by the guidelines in Subchapter E.

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 20, Sec. 1, eff. April 20, 1995.



Section  153.193.  Minimal Restriction On Parent's Possession Or Access.

The terms of an order that denies possession of a child to a parent or imposes restrictions or limitations on a parent's right to possession of or access to a child may not exceed those that are required to protect the best interest of the child.

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 20, Sec. 1, eff. April 20, 1995.



Subchapter E. Guidelines For The Possession Of A Child By A Parent Named As Possessory Conservator

Section  153.251.  Policy And General Application Of Guidelines.

(a) The guidelines established in the standard possession order are intended to guide the courts in ordering the terms and conditions for possession of a child by a parent named as a possessory conservator or as the minimum possession for a joint managing conservator.

(b)  It is the policy of this state to encourage frequent contact between a child and each parent for periods of possession that optimize the development of a close and continuing relationship between each parent and child.

(c)  It is preferable for all children in a family to be together during periods of possession.

(d)  The standard possession order is designed to apply to a child three years of age or older.

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 20, Sec. 1, eff. April 20, 1995.



Section  153.252.  Rebuttable Presumption.

In a suit, there is a rebuttable presumption that the standard possession order in Subchapter F:

(1)  provides reasonable minimum possession of a child for a parent named as a possessory conservator or joint managing conservator; and

(2)  is in the best interest of the child.

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 20, Sec. 1, eff. April 20, 1995.



Section  153.253.  Standard Possession Order Inappropriate Or Unworkable.

The court shall render an order that grants periods of possession of the child as similar as possible to those provided by the standard possession order if the work schedule or other special circumstances of the managing conservator, the possessory conservator, or the child, or the year-round school schedule of the child, make the standard order unworkable or inappropriate.

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 20, Sec. 1, eff. April 20, 1995.



Section  153.254.  Child Less Than Three Years Of Age.

(a) The court shall render an order appropriate under the circumstances for possession of a child less than three years of age.

(b)  The court shall render a prospective order to take effect on the child's third birthday, which presumptively will be the standard possession order.

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 20, Sec. 1, eff. April 20, 1995.



Section  153.255.  Agreement.

The court may render an order for periods of possession of a child that vary from the standard possession order based on the agreement of the parties.

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 20, Sec. 1, eff. April 20, 1995.



Section  153.256.  Factors For Court To Consider.

In ordering the terms of possession of a child under an order other than a standard possession order, the court shall be guided by the guidelines established by the standard possession order and may consider:

(1)  the age, developmental status, circumstances, needs, and best interest of the child;

(2)  the circumstances of the managing conservator and of the parent named as a possessory conservator; and

(3)  any other relevant factor.

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 20, Sec. 1, eff. April 20, 1995. Amended by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 751, Sec. 35, eff. Sept. 1, 1995.



Section  153.257.  Means Of Travel.

In an order providing for the terms and conditions of possession of a child, the court may restrict the means of travel of the child by a legal mode of transportation only after a showing of good cause contained in the record and a finding by the court that the restriction is in the best interest of the child. The court shall specify the duties of the conservators to provide transportation to and from the transportation facilities.

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 20, Sec. 1, eff. April 20, 1995.



Section  153.258.  Request For Findings When Order Varies From Standard Order.

Without regard to Rules 296 through 299, Texas Rules of Civil Procedure, in all cases in which possession of a child by a parent is contested and the possession of the child varies from the standard possession order, on written request made or filed with the court not later than 10 days after the date of the hearing or on oral request made in open court during the hearing, the court shall state in the order the specific reasons for the variance from the standard order.

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 20, Sec. 1, eff. April 20, 1995.



Subchapter F. Standard Possession Order

Section 153.3101.  Reference To "school" In Standard Possession Order.

In a standard possession order, "school" means the primary or secondary school in which the child is enrolled or, if the child is not enrolled in a primary or secondary school, the public school district in which the child primarily resides.

Added by Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 1113, Sec. 4, eff. September 1, 2009.



Section 153.311.  Mutual Agreement Or Specified Terms For Possession.

The court shall specify in a standard possession order that the parties may have possession of the child at times mutually agreed to in advance by the parties and, in the absence of mutual agreement, shall have possession of the child under the specified terms set out in the standard possession order.

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 20, Sec. 1, eff. April 20, 1995.

Amended by:

Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 1113, Sec. 5, eff. September 1, 2009.



Section 153.312.  Parents Who Reside 100 Miles Or Less Apart.

(a) If the possessory conservator resides 100 miles or less from the primary residence of the child, the possessory conservator shall have the right to possession of the child as follows:

(1)  on weekends throughout the year beginning at 6 p.m. on the first, third, and fifth Friday of each month and ending at 6 p.m. on the following Sunday; and

(2)  on Thursdays of each week during the regular school term beginning at 6 p.m. and ending at 8 p.m., unless the court finds that visitation under this subdivision is not in the best interest of the child.

(b)  The following provisions govern possession of the child for vacations and certain specific holidays and supersede conflicting weekend or Thursday periods of possession.  The possessory conservator and the managing conservator shall have rights of possession of the child as follows:

(1)  the possessory conservator shall have possession in even-numbered years, beginning at 6 p.m. on the day the child is dismissed from school for the school's spring vacation and ending at 6 p.m. on the day before school resumes after that vacation, and the managing conservator shall have possession for the same period in odd-numbered years;

(2)  if a possessory conservator:

(A)  gives the managing conservator written notice by April 1 of each year specifying an extended period or periods of summer possession, the possessory conservator shall have possession of the child for 30 days beginning not earlier than the day after the child's school is dismissed for the summer vacation and ending not later than seven days before school resumes at the end of the summer vacation, to be exercised in not more than two separate periods of at least seven consecutive days each, with each period of possession beginning and ending at 6 p.m. on each applicable day; or

(B)  does not give the managing conservator written notice by April 1 of each year specifying an extended period or periods of summer possession, the possessory conservator shall have possession of the child for 30 consecutive days beginning at 6 p.m. on July 1 and ending at 6 p.m. on July 31;

(3)  if the managing conservator gives the possessory conservator written notice by April 15 of each year, the managing conservator shall have possession of the child on any one weekend beginning Friday at 6 p.m. and ending at 6 p.m. on the following Sunday during one period of possession by the possessory conservator under Subdivision (2), provided that the managing conservator picks up the child from the possessory conservator and returns the child to that same place; and

(4)  if the managing conservator gives the possessory conservator written notice by April 15 of each year or gives the possessory conservator 14 days' written notice on or after April 16 of each year, the managing conservator may designate one weekend beginning not earlier than the day after the child's school is dismissed for the summer vacation and ending not later than seven days before school resumes at the end of the summer vacation, during which an otherwise scheduled weekend period of possession by the possessory conservator will not take place, provided that the weekend designated does not interfere with the possessory conservator's period or periods of extended summer possession or with Father's Day if the possessory conservator is the father of the child.

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 20, Sec. 1, eff. April 20, 1995. Amended by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 802, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1997; Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 236, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1999; Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 1036, Sec. 13, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.

Amended by:

Acts 2005, 79th Leg., Ch. 916, Sec. 12, eff. June 18, 2005.

Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1041, Sec. 2, eff. June 15, 2007.

Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 1113, Sec. 6, eff. September 1, 2009.



Section 153.313.  Parents Who Reside Over 100 Miles Apart.

If the possessory conservator resides more than 100 miles from the residence of the child, the possessory conservator shall have the right to possession of the child as follows:

(1)  either regular weekend possession beginning on the first, third, and fifth Friday as provided under the terms applicable to parents who reside 100 miles or less apart or not more than one weekend per month of the possessory conservator's choice beginning at 6 p.m. on the day school recesses for the weekend and ending at 6 p.m. on the day before school resumes after the weekend, provided that the possessory conservator gives the managing conservator 14 days' written or telephonic notice preceding a designated weekend, and provided that the possessory conservator elects an option for this alternative period of possession by written notice given to the managing conservator within 90 days after the parties begin to reside more than 100 miles apart, as applicable;

(2)  each year beginning at 6 p.m. on the day the child is dismissed from school for the school's spring vacation and ending at 6 p.m. on the day before school resumes after that vacation;

(3)  if the possessory conservator:

(A)  gives the managing conservator written notice by April 1 of each year specifying an extended period or periods of summer possession, the possessory conservator shall have possession of the child for 42 days beginning not earlier than the day after the child's school is dismissed for the summer vacation and ending not later than seven days before school resumes at the end of the summer vacation, to be exercised in not more than two separate periods of at least seven consecutive days each, with each period of possession beginning and ending at 6 p.m. on each applicable day; or

(B)  does not give the managing conservator written notice by April 1 of each year specifying an extended period or periods of summer possession, the possessory conservator shall have possession of the child for 42 consecutive days beginning at 6 p.m. on June 15 and ending at 6 p.m. on July 27;

(4)  if the managing conservator gives the possessory conservator written notice by April 15 of each year the managing conservator shall have possession of the child on one weekend beginning Friday at 6 p.m. and ending at 6 p.m. on the following Sunday during one period of possession by the possessory conservator under Subdivision (3), provided that if a period of possession by the possessory conservator exceeds 30 days, the managing conservator may have possession of the child under the terms of this subdivision on two nonconsecutive weekends during that time period, and further provided that the managing conservator picks up the child from the possessory conservator and returns the child to that same place; and

(5)  if the managing conservator gives the possessory conservator written notice by April 15 of each year, the managing conservator may designate 21 days beginning not earlier than the day after the child's school is dismissed for the summer vacation and ending not later than seven days before school resumes at the end of the summer vacation, to be exercised in not more than two separate periods of at least seven consecutive days each, with each period of possession beginning and ending at 6 p.m. on each applicable day, during which the possessory conservator may not have possession of the child, provided that the period or periods so designated do not interfere with the possessory conservator's period or periods of extended summer possession or with Father's Day if the possessory conservator is the father of the child.

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 20, Sec. 1, eff. April 20, 1995. Amended by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 751, Sec. 36, eff. Sept. 1, 1995; Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 236, Sec. 2, eff. Sept. 1, 1999.

Amended by:

Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 1113, Sec. 7, eff. September 1, 2009.



Section 153.314.  Holiday Possession Unaffected By Distance Parents Reside Apart.

The following provisions govern possession of the child for certain specific holidays and supersede conflicting weekend or Thursday periods of possession without regard to the distance the parents reside apart.  The possessory conservator and the managing conservator shall have rights of possession of the child as follows:

(1)  the possessory conservator shall have possession of the child in even-numbered years beginning at 6 p.m. on the day the child is dismissed from school for the Christmas school vacation and ending at noon on December 28, and the managing conservator shall have possession for the same period in odd-numbered years;

(2)  the possessory conservator shall have possession of the child in odd-numbered years beginning at noon on December 28 and ending at 6 p.m. on the day before school resumes after that vacation, and the managing conservator shall have possession for the same period in even-numbered years;

(3)  the possessory conservator shall have possession of the child in odd-numbered years, beginning at 6 p.m. on the day the child is dismissed from school before Thanksgiving and ending at 6 p.m. on the following Sunday, and the managing conservator shall have possession for the same period in even-numbered years;

(4)  the parent not otherwise entitled under this standard possession order to present possession of a child on the child's birthday shall have possession of the child beginning at 6 p.m. and ending at 8 p.m. on that day, provided that the parent picks up the child from the residence of the conservator entitled to possession and returns the child to that same place;

(5)  if a conservator, the father shall have possession of the child beginning at 6 p.m. on the Friday preceding Father's Day and ending on Father's Day at 6 p.m., provided that, if he is not otherwise entitled under this standard possession order to present possession of the child, he picks up the child from the residence of the conservator entitled to possession and returns the child to that same place; and

(6)  if a conservator, the mother shall have possession of the child beginning at 6 p.m. on the Friday preceding Mother's Day and ending on Mother's Day at 6 p.m., provided that, if she is not otherwise entitled under this  standard possession order to present possession of the child, she picks up the child from the residence of the conservator entitled to possession and returns the child to that same place.

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 20, Sec. 1, eff. April 20, 1995. Amended by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 1036, Sec. 14, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.

Amended by:

Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1041, Sec. 3, eff. June 15, 2007.

Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 1113, Sec. 8, eff. September 1, 2009.



Section 153.315.  Weekend Possession Extended By Holiday.

(a) If a weekend period of possession of the possessory conservator coincides with a student holiday or teacher in-service day that falls on a Monday during the regular school term, as determined by the school in which the child is enrolled, or with a federal, state, or local holiday that falls on a Monday during the summer months in which school is not in session, the weekend possession shall end at 6 p.m. on Monday.

(b)  If a weekend period of possession of the possessory conservator coincides with a student holiday or teacher in-service day that falls on a Friday during the regular school term, as determined by the school in which the child is enrolled, or with a federal, state, or local holiday that falls on a Friday during the summer months in which school is not in session, the weekend possession shall begin at 6 p.m. on Thursday.

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 20, Sec. 1, eff. April 20, 1995.

Amended by:

Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 1113, Sec. 9, eff. September 1, 2009.



Section  153.316.  General Terms And Conditions.

The court shall order the following general terms and conditions of possession of a child to apply without regard to the distance between the residence of a parent and the child:

(1)  the managing conservator shall surrender the child to the possessory conservator at the beginning of each period of the possessory conservator's possession at the residence of the managing conservator;

(2)  if the possessory conservator elects to begin a period of possession at the time the child's school is regularly dismissed, the managing conservator shall surrender the child to the possessory conservator at the beginning of each period of possession at the school in which the child is enrolled;

(3)  the possessory conservator shall be ordered to do one of the following:

(A)  the possessory conservator shall surrender the child to the managing conservator at the end of each period of possession at the residence of the possessory conservator; or

(B)  the possessory conservator shall return the child to the residence of the managing conservator at the end of each period of possession, except that the order shall provide that the possessory conservator shall surrender the child to the managing conservator at the end of each period of possession at the residence of the possessory conservator if:

(i)  at the time the original order or a modification of an order establishing terms and conditions of possession or access the possessory conservator and the managing conservator lived in the same county, the possessory conservator's county of residence remains the same after the rendition of the order, and the managing conservator's county of residence changes, effective on the date of the change of residence by the managing conservator; or

(ii)  the possessory conservator and managing conservator lived in the same residence at any time during a six-month period preceding the date on which a suit for dissolution of the marriage was filed and the possessory conservator's county of residence remains the same and the managing conservator's county of residence changes after they no longer live in the same residence, effective on the date the order is rendered;

(4)  if the possessory conservator elects to end a period of possession at the time the child's school resumes, the possessory conservator shall surrender the child to the managing conservator at the end of each period of possession at the school in which the child is enrolled;

(5)  each conservator shall return with the child the personal effects that the child brought at the beginning of the period of possession;

(6)  either parent may designate a competent adult to pick up and return the child, as applicable; a parent or a designated competent adult shall be present when the child is picked up or returned;

(7)  a parent shall give notice to the person in possession of the child on each occasion that the parent will be unable to exercise that parent's right of possession for a specified period;

(8)  written notice shall be deemed to have been timely made if received or postmarked before or at the time that notice is due; and

(9)  if a conservator's time of possession of a child ends at the time school resumes and for any reason the child is not or will not be returned to school, the conservator in possession of the child shall immediately notify the school and the other conservator that the child will not be or has not been returned to school.

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 20, Sec. 1, eff. April 20, 1995. Amended by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 751, Sec. 37, eff. Sept. 1, 1995; Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 9, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1997.



Section 153.3162.  Additional Periods Of Possession Or Access After Conclusion Of Military Deployment.

(a) In this section, "conservator" means:

(1)  a possessory conservator of a child; or

(2)  a joint managing conservator of a child without the exclusive right to designate the primary residence of the child.

(b)  Not later than the 90th day after the date a conservator who is a member of the armed services concludes the conservator's active military deployment, the conservator may petition the court to:

(1)  compute the periods of possession of or access to the child to which the conservator would have otherwise been entitled during the conservator's deployment; and

(2)  award the conservator additional periods of possession of or access to the child to compensate for the periods described by Subdivision (1).

(c)  If a conservator petitions the court under Subsection (b), the court:

(1)  shall compute the periods of possession or access to the child described by Subsection (b)(1); and

(2)  may award to the conservator additional periods of possession of or access to the child for a length of time and under terms the court considers reasonable, if the court determines that:

(A)  the conservator was deployed in a location where access to the child was not reasonably possible; and

(B)  the award of additional periods of possession of or access to the child is in the best interest of the child.

(d)  In making the determination under Subsection (c)(2), the court:

(1)  shall consider:

(A)  the periods of possession of or access to the child to which the conservator would otherwise have been entitled during the conservator's deployment, as computed under Subsection (c)(1);

(B)  whether the court provided in an order under Section 153.3161 that a person exercise limited possession of the child during the conservator's deployment; and

(C)  any other factor the court considers appropriate; and

(2)  is not required to award additional periods of possession of or access to the child that equals the possession or access to which the conservator would have been entitled during the conservator's deployment, as computed under Subsection (c)(1).

(e)  After the conservator has exercised all additional periods of possession or access awarded under this section, the rights of all affected parties are governed by the terms of any court order applicable when the conservator is not deployed.

Added by Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 301, Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2009.



Section 153.317.  Alternative Beginning And Ending Possession Times. (a) If

elected by a conservator, the court shall alter the standard possession order under Sections 153.312, 153.314, and 153.315 to provide for one or more of the following alternative beginning and ending possession times for the described periods of possession, unless the court finds that the election is not in the best interest of the child:

(1)  for weekend periods of possession under Section 153.312(a)(1) during the regular school term:

(A)  beginning at the time the child's school is regularly dismissed; or

(B)  ending at the time the child's school resumes after the weekend;

(2)  for Thursday periods of possession under Section 153.312(a)(2):

(A)  beginning at the time the child's school is regularly dismissed; or

(B)  ending at the time the child's school resumes on Friday;

(3)  for spring vacation periods of possession under Section 153.312(b)(1), beginning at the time the child's school is dismissed for those vacations;

(4)  for Christmas school vacation periods of possession under Section 153.314(1), beginning at the time the child's school is dismissed for the vacation;

(5)  for Thanksgiving holiday periods of possession under Section 153.314(3), beginning at the time the child's school is dismissed for the holiday;

(6)  for Father's Day periods of possession under Section 153.314(5), ending at 8 a.m. on the Monday after Father's Day weekend;

(7)  for Mother's Day periods of possession under Section 153.314(6):

(A)  beginning at the time the child's school is regularly dismissed on the Friday preceding Mother's Day; or

(B)  ending at the time the child's school resumes after Mother's Day; or

(8)  for weekend periods of possession that are extended under Section 153.315(b) by a student holiday or teacher in-service day that falls on a Friday, beginning at the time the child's school is regularly dismissed on Thursday.

(b)  A conservator must make an election under Subsection (a) before or at the time of the rendition of a possession order.  The election may be made:

(1)  in a written document filed with the court; or

(2)  through an oral statement made in open court on the record.

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 20, Sec. 1, eff. April 20, 1995. Amended by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 9, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1997; Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 1036, Sec. 15, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.

Amended by:

Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 1113, Sec. 10, eff. September 1, 2009.



Subchapter G. Appointment Of Nonparent As Conservator

Section  153.371.  Rights And Duties Of Nonparent Appointed As Sole Managing Conservator.

Unless limited by court order or other provisions of this chapter, a nonparent, licensed child-placing agency, or authorized agency appointed as a managing conservator of the child has the following rights and duties:

(1)  the right to have physical possession and to direct the moral and religious training of the child;

(2)  the duty of care, control, protection, and reasonable discipline of the child;

(3)  the duty to provide the child with clothing, food, shelter, education, and medical, psychological, and dental care;

(4)  the right to consent for the child to medical, psychiatric, psychological, dental, and surgical treatment and to have access to the child's medical records;

(5)  the right to receive and give receipt for payments for the support of the child and to hold or disburse funds for the benefit of the child;

(6)  the right to the services and earnings of the child;

(7)  the right to consent to marriage and to enlistment in the armed forces of the United States;

(8)  the right to represent the child in legal action and to make other decisions of substantial legal significance concerning the child;

(9)  except when a guardian of the child's estate or a guardian or attorney ad litem has been appointed for the child, the right to act as an agent of the child in relation to the child's estate if the child's action is required by a state, the United States, or a foreign government;

(10)  the right to designate the primary residence of the child and to make decisions regarding the child's education; and

(11)  if the parent-child relationship has been terminated with respect to the parents, or only living parent, or if there is no living parent, the right to consent to the adoption of the child and to make any other decision concerning the child that a parent could make.

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 20, Sec. 1, eff. April 20, 1995. Amended by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 751, Sec. 34, eff. Sept. 1, 1995; Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 949, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1999; Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 1036, Sec. 16, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.



Section  153.372.  Nonparent Appointed As Joint Managing Conservator.

(a) A nonparent, authorized agency, or licensed child-placing agency appointed as a joint managing conservator may serve in that capacity with either another nonparent or with a parent of the child.

(b)  The procedural and substantive standards regarding an agreed or court-ordered joint managing conservatorship provided by Subchapter C apply to a nonparent joint managing conservator.

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 20, Sec. 1, eff. April 20, 1995.



Section  153.3721.  Access To Certain Records By Nonparent Joint Managing Conservator.

Unless limited by court order or other provisions of this chapter, a nonparent joint managing conservator has the right of access to the medical records of the child, without regard to whether the right is specified in the order.

Added by Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 949, Sec. 2, eff. Sept. 1, 1999.



Section  153.373.  Voluntary Surrender Of Possession Rebuts Parental Presumption.

The presumption that a parent should be appointed or retained as managing conservator of the child is rebutted if the court finds that:

(1)  the parent has voluntarily relinquished actual care, control, and possession of the child to a nonparent, licensed child-placing agency, or authorized agency for a period of one year or more, a portion of which was within 90 days preceding the date of intervention in or filing of the suit; and

(2)  the appointment of the nonparent or agency as managing conservator is in the best interest of the child.

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 20, Sec. 1, eff. April 20, 1995.



Section  153.374.  Designation Of Managing Conservator In Affidavit Of Relinquishment.

(a) A parent may designate a competent person, authorized agency, or licensed child-placing agency to serve as managing conservator of the child in an unrevoked or irrevocable affidavit of relinquishment of parental rights executed as provided by Chapter 161.

(b)  The person or agency designated to serve as managing conservator shall be appointed managing conservator unless the court finds that the appointment would not be in the best interest of the child.

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 20, Sec. 1, eff. April 20, 1995. Amended by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 751, Sec. 38, eff. Sept. 1, 1995.



Section  153.375.  Annual Report By Nonparent Managing Conservator.

(a) A nonparent appointed as a managing conservator of a child shall each 12 months after the appointment file with the court a report of facts concerning the child's welfare, including the child's whereabouts and physical condition.

(b)  The report may not be admitted in evidence in a subsequent suit.

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 20, Sec. 1, eff. April 20, 1995.



Section  153.376.  Rights And Duties Of Nonparent Possessory Conservator.

(a) Unless limited by court order or other provisions of this chapter, a nonparent, licensed child-placing agency, or authorized agency appointed as a possessory conservator has the following rights and duties during the period of possession:

(1)  the duty of care, control, protection, and reasonable discipline of the child;

(2)  the duty to provide the child with clothing, food, and shelter; and

(3)  the right to consent to medical, dental, and surgical treatment during an emergency involving an immediate danger to the health and safety of the child.

(b)  A nonparent possessory conservator has any other right or duty specified in the order.

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 20, Sec. 1, eff. April 20, 1995.



Section  153.377.  Access To Child's Records.

A nonparent possessory conservator has the right of access to medical, dental, psychological, and educational records of the child to the same extent as the managing conservator, without regard to whether the right is specified in the order.

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 20, Sec. 1, eff. April 20, 1995.



Subchapter H. Rights Of Grandparent, Aunt, Or Uncle

Section 153.431.  Appointment Of Grandparent, Aunt, Or Uncle As Managing Conservator.

If both of the parents of a child are deceased, the court may consider appointment of a parent, sister, or brother of a deceased parent as a managing conservator of the child, but that consideration does not alter or diminish the discretionary power of the court.

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 20, Sec. 1, eff. April 20, 1995.

Amended by:

Acts 2005, 79th Leg., Ch. 484, Sec. 2, eff. September 1, 2005.



Section 153.432.  Suit For Possession Or Access By Grandparent.

(a) A biological or adoptive grandparent may request possession of or access to a grandchild by filing:

(1)  an original suit; or

(2)  a suit for modification as provided by Chapter 156.

(b)  A grandparent may request possession of or access to a grandchild in a suit filed for the sole purpose of requesting the relief, without regard to whether the appointment of a managing conservator is an issue in the suit.

(c)  In a suit described by Subsection (a), the person filing the suit must execute and attach an affidavit on knowledge or belief that contains, along with supporting facts, the allegation that denial of possession of or access to the child by the petitioner would significantly impair the child's physical health or emotional well-being.  The court shall deny the relief sought and dismiss the suit unless the court determines that the facts stated in the affidavit, if true, would be sufficient to support the relief authorized under Section 153.433.

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 20, Sec. 1, eff. April 20, 1995.

Amended by:

Acts 2005, 79th Leg., Ch. 484, Sec. 3, eff. September 1, 2005.

Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 1113, Sec. 11, eff. September 1, 2009.



Section 153.433.  Possession Of Or Access To Grandchild.

(a) The court may order reasonable possession of or access to a grandchild by a grandparent if:

(1)  at the time the relief is requested, at least one biological or adoptive parent of the child has not had that parent's parental rights terminated;

(2)  the grandparent requesting possession of or access to the child overcomes the presumption that a parent acts in the best interest of the parent's child by proving by a preponderance of the evidence that denial of possession of or access to the child would significantly impair the child's physical health or emotional well-being; and

(3)  the grandparent requesting possession of or access to the child is a parent of a parent of the child and that parent of the child:

(A)  has been incarcerated in jail or prison during the three-month period preceding the filing of the petition;

(B)  has been found by a court to be incompetent;

(C)  is dead; or

(D)  does not have actual or court-ordered possession of or access to the child.

(b)  An order granting possession of or access to a child by a grandparent that is rendered over a parent's objections must state, with specificity that:

(1)  at the time the relief was requested, at least one biological or adoptive parent of the child had not had that parent's parental rights terminated;

(2)  the grandparent requesting possession of or access to the child has overcome the presumption that a parent acts in the best interest of the parent's child by proving by a preponderance of the evidence that the denial of possession of or access to the child would significantly impair the child's physical health or emotional well-being; and

(3)  the grandparent requesting possession of or access to the child is a parent of a parent of the child and that parent of the child:

(A)  has been incarcerated in jail or prison during the three-month period preceding the filing of the petition;

(B)  has been found by a court to be incompetent;

(C)  is dead; or

(D)  does not have actual or court-ordered possession of or access to the child.

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 20, Sec. 1, eff. April 20, 1995. Amended by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 1397, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1997.

Amended by:

Acts 2005, 79th Leg., Ch. 484, Sec. 4, eff. September 1, 2005.

Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 1113, Sec. 12, eff. September 1, 2009.



Section 153.434.  Limitation On Right To Request Possession Or Access.

A biological or adoptive grandparent may not request possession of or access to a grandchild if:

(1)  each of the biological parents of the grandchild has:

(A)  died;

(B)  had the person's parental rights terminated; or

(C)  executed an affidavit of waiver of interest in child or an affidavit of relinquishment of parental rights under Chapter 161 and the affidavit designates an authorized agency, licensed child-placing agency, or person other than the child's stepparent as the managing conservator of the child; and

(2)  the grandchild has been adopted, or is the subject of a pending suit for adoption, by a person other than the child's stepparent.

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 20, Sec. 1, eff. April 20, 1995. Amended by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 561, Sec. 4, eff. Sept. 1, 1997; Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 1390, Sec. 13, eff. Sept. 1, 1999.

Amended by:

Acts 2005, 79th Leg., Ch. 484, Sec. 5, eff. September 1, 2005.



Subchapter I. Prevention Of International Parental Child Abduction

Section  153.501.  Necessity Of Measures To Prevent International Parental Child Abduction.

(a) In a suit, if credible evidence is presented to the court indicating a potential risk of the international abduction of a child by a parent of the child, the court, on its own motion or at the request of a party to the suit, shall determine under this section whether it is necessary for the court to take one or more of the measures described by Section 153.503 to protect the child from the risk of abduction by the parent.

(b)  In determining whether to take any of the measures described by Section 153.503, the court shall consider:

(1)  the public policies of this state described by Section 153.001(a) and the consideration of the best interest of the child under Section 153.002;

(2)  the risk of international abduction of the child by a parent of the child based on the court's evaluation of the risk factors described by Section 153.502;

(3)  any obstacles to locating, recovering, and returning the child if the child is abducted to a foreign country; and

(4)  the potential physical or psychological harm to the child if the child is abducted to a foreign country.

Added by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 612, Sec. 1, eff. June 20, 2003.



Section  153.502.  Abduction Risk Factors.

(a) To determine whether there is a risk of the international abduction of a child by a parent of the child, the court shall consider evidence that the parent:

(1)  has taken, enticed away, kept, withheld, or concealed a child in violation of another person's right of possession of or access to the child, unless the parent presents evidence that the parent believed in good faith that the parent's conduct was necessary to avoid imminent harm to the child or the parent;

(2)  has previously threatened to take, entice away, keep, withhold, or conceal a child in violation of another person's right of possession of or access to the child;

(3)  lacks financial reason to stay in the United States, including evidence that the parent is financially independent, is able to work outside of the United States, or is unemployed;

(4)  has recently engaged in planning activities that could facilitate the removal of the child from the United States by the parent, including:

(A)  quitting a job;

(B)  selling a primary residence;

(C)  terminating a lease;

(D)  closing bank accounts;

(E)  liquidating other assets;

(F)  hiding or destroying documents;

(G)  applying for a passport or visa or obtaining other travel documents for the parent or the child; or

(H)  applying to obtain the child's birth certificate or school or medical records;

(5)  has a history of domestic violence that the court is required to consider under Section 153.004; or

(6)  has a criminal history or a history of violating court orders.

(a-1)  In considering evidence of planning activities under Subsection (a)(4), the court also shall consider any evidence that the parent was engaging in those activities as a part of a safety plan to flee from family violence.

(b)  If the court finds that there is credible evidence of a risk of abduction of the child by a parent of the child based on the court's consideration of the factors in Subsection (a), the court shall also consider evidence regarding the following factors to evaluate the risk of international abduction of the child by a parent:

(1)  whether the parent has strong familial, emotional, or cultural ties to another country, particularly a country that is not a signatory to or compliant with the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction; and

(2)  whether the parent lacks strong ties to the United States, regardless of whether the parent is a citizen or permanent resident of the United States.

(c)  If the court finds that there is credible evidence of a risk of abduction of the child by a parent of the child based on the court's consideration of the factors in Subsection (a), the court may also consider evidence regarding the following factors to evaluate the risk of international abduction of the child by a parent:

(1)  whether the parent is undergoing a change in status with the United States Immigration and Naturalization Service that would adversely affect that parent's ability to legally remain in the United States;

(2)  whether the parent's application for United States citizenship has been denied by the United States Immigration and Naturalization Service;

(3)  whether the parent has forged or presented misleading or false evidence to obtain a visa, a passport, a social security card, or any other identification card or has made any misrepresentation to the United States government; or

(4)  whether the foreign country to which the parent has ties:

(A)  presents obstacles to the recovery and return of a child who is abducted to the country from the United States;

(B)  has any legal mechanisms for immediately and effectively enforcing an order regarding the possession of or access to the child issued by this state;

(C)  has local laws or practices that would:

(i)  enable the parent to prevent the child's other parent from contacting the child without due cause;

(ii)  restrict the child's other parent from freely traveling to or exiting from the country because of that parent's gender, nationality, or religion; or

(iii)  restrict the child's ability to legally leave the country after the child reaches the age of majority because of the child's gender, nationality, or religion;

(D)  is included by the United States Department of State on a list of state sponsors of terrorism;

(E)  is a country for which the United States Department of State has issued a travel warning to United States citizens regarding travel to the country;

(F)  has an embassy of the United States in the country;

(G)  is engaged in any active military action or war, including a civil war;

(H)  is a party to and compliant with the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction according to the most recent report on compliance issued by the United States Department of State;

(I)  provides for the extradition of a parental abductor and the return of the child to the United States; or

(J)  poses a risk that the child's physical health or safety would be endangered in the country because of specific circumstances relating to the child or because of human rights violations committed against children, including arranged marriages, lack of freedom of religion, child labor, lack of child abuse laws, female genital mutilation, and any form of slavery.

Added by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 612, Sec. 1, eff. June 20, 2003.

Amended by:

Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 1113, Sec. 13, eff. September 1, 2009.



Section  153.503.  Abduction Prevention Measures.

If the court finds that it is necessary under Section 153.501 to take measures to protect a child from international abduction by a parent of the child, the court may take any of the following actions:

(1)  appoint a person other than the parent of the child who presents a risk of abducting the child as the sole managing conservator of the child;

(2)  require supervised visitation of the parent by a visitation center or independent organization until the court finds under Section 153.501 that supervised visitation is no longer necessary;

(3)  enjoin the parent or any person acting on the parent's behalf from:

(A)  disrupting or removing the child from the school or child-care facility in which the child is enrolled; or

(B)  approaching the child at any location other than a site designated for supervised visitation;

(4)  order passport and travel controls, including controls that:

(A)  prohibit the parent and any person acting on the parent's behalf from removing the child from this state or the United States;

(B)  require the parent to surrender any passport issued in the child's name, including any passport issued in the name of both the parent and the child; and

(C)  prohibit the parent from applying on behalf of the child for a new or replacement passport or international travel visa;

(5)  require the parent to provide:

(A)  to the United States Department of State's Office of Children's Issues and the relevant foreign consulate or embassy:

(i)  written notice of the court-ordered passport and travel restrictions for the child; and

(ii)  a properly authenticated copy of the court order detailing the restrictions and documentation of the parent's agreement to the restrictions; and

(B)  to the court proof of receipt of the written notice required by Paragraph (A)(i) by the United States Department of State's Office of Children's Issues and the relevant foreign consulate or embassy;

(6)  order the parent to execute a bond or deposit security in an amount sufficient to offset the cost of recovering the child if the child is abducted by the parent to a foreign country;

(7)  authorize the appropriate law enforcement agencies to take measures to prevent the abduction of the child by the parent; or

(8)  include in the court's order provisions:

(A)  identifying the United States as the country of habitual residence of the child;

(B)  defining the basis for the court's exercise of jurisdiction; and

(C)  stating that a party's violation of the order may subject the party to a civil penalty or criminal penalty or to both civil and criminal penalties.

Added by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 612, Sec. 1, eff. June 20, 2003.



Subchapter J. Rights Of Siblings

Section 153.551.  Suit For Access.

(a) The sibling of a child who is separated from the child because of an action taken by the Department of Family and Protective Services may request access to the child by filing:

(1)  an original suit; or

(2)  a suit for modification as provided by Chapter 156.

(b)  A sibling described by Subsection (a) may request access to the child in a suit filed for the sole purpose of requesting the relief, without regard to whether the appointment of a managing conservator is an issue in the suit.

(c)  The court shall order reasonable access to the child by the child's sibling described by Subsection (a) if the court finds that access is in the best interest of the child.

Added by Acts 2005, 79th Leg., Ch. 1191, Sec. 2, eff. September 1, 2005.

Amended by:

Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 1113, Sec. 14, eff. September 1, 2009.



Subchapter K. Parenting Plan, Parenting Coordinator, And Parenting Facilitator

Section 153.601.  Definitions.

In this subchapter:

(1)  "Dispute resolution process" means:

(A)  a process of alternative dispute resolution conducted in accordance with Section 153.0071 of this chapter and Chapter 154, Civil Practice and Remedies Code; or

(B)  any other method of voluntary dispute resolution.

(2)  "High-conflict case" means a suit affecting the parent-child relationship in which the court finds that the parties have demonstrated an unusual degree of:

(A)  repetitiously resorting to the adjudicative process;

(B)  anger and distrust; and

(C)  difficulty in communicating about and cooperating in the care of their children.

(3)  "Parenting coordinator" means an impartial third party:

(A)  who, regardless of the title by which the person is designated by the court, performs any function described by Section 153.606 in a suit; and

(B)  who:

(i)  is appointed under this subchapter by the court on its own motion or on a motion or agreement of the parties to assist parties in resolving parenting issues through confidential procedures; and

(ii)  is not appointed under another statute or a rule of civil procedure.

(3-a)  "Parenting facilitator" means an impartial third party:

(A)  who, regardless of the title by which the person is designated by the court, performs any function described by Section 153.6061 in a suit; and

(B)  who:

(i)  is appointed under this subchapter by the court on its own motion or on a motion or agreement of the parties to assist parties in resolving parenting issues through procedures that are not confidential; and

(ii)  is not appointed under another statute or a rule of civil procedure.

(4)  "Parenting plan" means the provisions of a final court order that:

(A)  set out rights and duties of a parent or a person acting as a parent in relation to the child;

(B)  provide for periods of possession of and access to the child, which may be the terms set out in the standard possession order under Subchapter F and any amendments to the standard possession order agreed to by the parties or found by the court to be in the best interest of the child;

(C)  provide for child support; and

(D)  optimize the development of a close and continuing relationship between each parent and the child.

Added by Acts 2005, 79th Leg., Ch. 482, Sec. 2, eff. September 1, 2005.

Amended by:

Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1181, Sec. 4, eff. September 1, 2007.

Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 1113, Sec. 16, eff. September 1, 2009.



Section 153.602.  Parenting Plan Not Required In Temporary Order.

A temporary order in a suit affecting the parent-child relationship rendered in accordance with Section 105.001 is not required to include a temporary parenting plan.  The court may not require the submission of a temporary parenting plan in any case or by local rule or practice.

Added by Acts 2005, 79th Leg., Ch. 482, Sec. 2, eff. September 1, 2005.

Amended by:

Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1181, Sec. 4, eff. September 1, 2007.



Section 153.603.  Requirement Of Parenting Plan In Final Order.

(a) Except as provided by Subsection (b), a final order in a suit affecting the parent-child relationship must include a parenting plan.

(b)  The following orders are not required to include a parenting plan:

(1)  an order that only modifies child support;

(2)  an order that only terminates parental rights; or

(3)  a final order described by Section 155.001(b).

(c)   If the parties have not reached agreement on a final parenting plan on or before the 30th day before the date set for trial on the merits, a party may file with the court and serve a proposed parenting plan.

(d)  This section does not preclude the parties from requesting the appointment of a parenting coordinator to resolve parental conflicts.

Added by Acts 2005, 79th Leg., Ch. 482, Sec. 2, eff. September 1, 2005.

Amended by:

Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1181, Sec. 4, eff. September 1, 2007.



Section 153.6031.  Exception To Dispute Resolution Process Requirement.

A requirement in a parenting plan that a party initiate or participate in a dispute resolution process before filing a court action does not apply to an action:

(1)  to modify the parenting plan in an emergency;

(2)  to modify child support;

(3)  alleging that the child's present circumstances will significantly impair the child's physical health or significantly impair the child's emotional development;

(4)  to enforce; or

(5)  in which the party shows that enforcement of the requirement is precluded or limited by Section 153.0071.

Added by Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1181, Sec. 4, eff. September 1, 2007.



Section 153.605.  Appointment Of Parenting Coordinator.

(a) In a suit affecting the parent-child relationship, the court may, on its own motion or on a motion or agreement of the parties, appoint a parenting coordinator or assign a domestic relations office under Chapter 203 to appoint an employee or other person to serve as parenting coordinator.

(b)  The court may not appoint a parenting coordinator unless, after notice and hearing, the court makes a specific finding that:

(1)  the case is a high-conflict case or there is good cause shown for the appointment of a parenting coordinator and the appointment is in the best interest of any minor child in the suit; and

(2)  the person appointed has the minimum qualifications required by Section 153.610, as documented by the person, unless those requirements have been waived by the court with the agreement of the parties in accordance with Section 153.610(c).

(c)  Notwithstanding any other provision of this subchapter, a party may at any time file a written objection to the appointment of a parenting coordinator on the basis of family violence having been committed by another party against the objecting party or a child who is the subject of the suit.  After an objection is filed, a parenting coordinator may not be appointed unless, on the request of a party, a hearing is held and the court finds that a preponderance of the evidence does not support the objection.  If a parenting coordinator is appointed, the court shall order appropriate measures be taken to ensure the physical and emotional safety of the party who filed the objection.  The order may provide that the parties not be required to have face-to-face contact and that the parties be placed in separate rooms during the parenting coordination.

(d)  An individual appointed as a parenting coordinator may not serve in any nonconfidential capacity in the same case, including serving as an amicus attorney, guardian ad litem, or social study evaluator under Chapter 107, as a friend of the court under Chapter 202, or as a parenting facilitator under this subchapter.

Added by Acts 2005, 79th Leg., Ch. 482, Sec. 2, eff. September 1, 2005.

Amended by:

Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1181, Sec. 5, eff. September 1, 2007.

Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 1113, Sec. 17, eff. September 1, 2009.



Section 153.6051.  Appointment Of Parenting Facilitator.

(a) In a suit affecting the parent-child relationship, the court may, on its own motion or on a motion or agreement of the parties, appoint a parenting facilitator or assign a domestic relations office under Chapter 203 to appoint an employee or other person as a parenting facilitator.

(b)  The court may not appoint a parenting facilitator unless, after notice and hearing, the court makes a specific finding that:

(1)  the case is a high-conflict case or there is good cause shown for the appointment of a parenting facilitator and the appointment is in the best interest of any minor child in the suit; and

(2)  the person appointed has the minimum qualifications required by Section 153.6101, as documented by the person.

(c)  Notwithstanding any other provision of this subchapter, a party may at any time file a written objection to the appointment of a parenting facilitator on the basis of family violence having been committed by another party against the objecting party or a child who is the subject of the suit.  After an objection is filed, a parenting facilitator may not be appointed unless, on the request of a party, a hearing is held and the court finds that a preponderance of the evidence does not support the objection.  If a parenting facilitator is appointed, the court shall order appropriate measures be taken to ensure the physical and emotional safety of the party who filed the objection.  The order may provide that the parties not be required to have face-to-face contact and that the parties be placed in separate rooms during the parenting facilitation.

Added by Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 1113, Sec. 18, eff. September 1, 2009.



Section 153.606.  Duties Of Parenting Coordinator.

(a) The court shall specify the duties of a parenting coordinator in the order appointing the parenting coordinator.  The duties of the parenting coordinator are limited to matters that will aid the parties in:

(1)  identifying disputed issues;

(2)  reducing misunderstandings;

(3)  clarifying priorities;

(4)  exploring possibilities for problem solving;

(5)  developing methods of collaboration in parenting;

(6)  understanding parenting plans and reaching agreements about parenting issues to be included in a parenting plan;

(7)  complying with the court's order regarding conservatorship or possession of and access to the child;

(8)  implementing parenting plans;

(9)  obtaining training regarding problem solving, conflict management, and parenting skills; and

(10)  settling disputes regarding parenting issues and reaching a proposed joint resolution or statement of intent regarding those disputes.

(b)  The appointment of a parenting coordinator does not divest the court of:

(1)  its exclusive jurisdiction to determine issues of conservatorship, support, and possession of and access to the child; and

(2)  the authority to exercise management and control of the suit.

(c)  The parenting coordinator may not modify any order, judgment, or decree.

(d)  Meetings between the parenting coordinator and the parties may be informal and are not required to follow any specific procedures.

(d)  Meetings between the parenting coordinator and the parties may be informal and are not required to follow any specific procedures unless otherwise provided by this subchapter.

(e)  Repealed by Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1181, Sec. 11(2), eff. September 1, 2007.

(f)  A parenting coordinator appointed under this subchapter shall comply with the Ethical Guidelines for Mediators as adopted by the Supreme Court of Texas (Misc. Docket No. 05-9107, June 13, 2005).  On request by the court, the parties, or the parties' attorneys, the parenting coordinator shall sign a statement of agreement to comply with those guidelines and submit the statement to the court on acceptance of the appointment.  A failure to comply with the guidelines is grounds for removal of the parenting coordinator.

Added by Acts 2005, 79th Leg., Ch. 482, Sec. 2, eff. September 1, 2005.

Amended by:

Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1181, Sec. 6, eff. September 1, 2007.

Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1181, Sec. 7, eff. September 1, 2007.

Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1181, Sec. 11(2), eff. September 1, 2007.

Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 1113, Sec. 19, eff. September 1, 2009.



Section 153.6061.  Duties Of Parenting Facilitator.

(a) The court shall specify the duties of a parenting facilitator in the order appointing the parenting facilitator.  The duties of the parenting facilitator are limited to those matters described with regard to a parenting coordinator under Section 153.606(a), except that the parenting facilitator may also monitor compliance with court orders.

(b)  A parenting facilitator appointed under this subchapter shall comply with the standard of care applicable to the professional license held by the parenting facilitator in performing the parenting facilitator's duties.

(c)  The appointment of a parenting facilitator does not divest the court of:

(1)  the exclusive jurisdiction to determine issues of conservatorship, support, and possession of and access to the child; and

(2)  the authority to exercise management and control of the suit.

(d)  The parenting facilitator may not modify any order, judgment, or decree.

(e)  Meetings between the parenting facilitator and the parties may be informal and are not required to follow any specific procedures unless otherwise provided by this subchapter or the standards of practice of the professional license held by the parenting facilitator.

Added by Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 1113, Sec. 20, eff. September 1, 2009.



Section 153.607.  Presumption Of Good Faith; Removal Of Parenting Coordinator.

(a) It is a rebuttable presumption that a parenting coordinator is acting in good faith if the parenting coordinator's services have been conducted as provided by this subchapter and the Ethical Guidelines for Mediators described by Section 153.606(f).

(a-1)  Except as otherwise provided by this section, the court may remove the parenting coordinator in the court's discretion.

(b)  The court shall remove the parenting coordinator:

(1)  on the request and agreement of all parties;

(2)  on the request of the parenting coordinator;

(3)  on the motion of a party, if good cause is shown; or

(4)  if the parenting coordinator ceases to satisfy the minimum qualifications required by Section 153.610.

Added by Acts 2005, 79th Leg., Ch. 482, Sec. 2, eff. September 1, 2005.

Amended by:

Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1181, Sec. 8, eff. September 1, 2007.

Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 1113, Sec. 21, eff. September 1, 2009.



Section 153.6071.  Presumption Of Good Faith; Removal Of Parenting Facilitator.

(a) It is a rebuttable presumption that a parenting facilitator is acting in good faith if the parenting facilitator's services have been conducted as provided by this subchapter and the standard of care applicable to the professional license held by the parenting facilitator.

(b)  Except as otherwise provided by this section, the court may remove the parenting facilitator in the court's discretion.

(c)  The court shall remove the parenting facilitator:

(1)  on the request and agreement of all parties;

(2)  on the request of the parenting facilitator;

(3)  on the motion of a party, if good cause is shown; or

(4)  if the parenting facilitator ceases to satisfy the minimum qualifications required by Section 153.6101.

Added by Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 1113, Sec. 22, eff. September 1, 2009.



Section 153.608.  Report Of Parenting Coordinator.

A parenting coordinator shall submit a written report to the court and to the parties as often as ordered by the court.  The report must be limited to a statement of whether the parenting coordination should continue.

Added by Acts 2005, 79th Leg., Ch. 482, Sec. 2, eff. September 1, 2005.

Amended by:

Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1181, Sec. 9, eff. September 1, 2007.



Section 153.6081.  Report Of Parenting Facilitator.

A parenting facilitator shall submit a written report to the court and to the parties as ordered by the court.  The report may include a recommendation described by Section 153.6082(e) and any other information required by the court, except that the report may not include recommendations regarding the conservatorship of or the possession of or access to the child who is the subject of the suit.

Added by Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 1113, Sec. 22, eff. September 1, 2009.



Section 153.6082.  Report Of Joint Proposal Or Statement Of Intent; Agreements And Recommendations.

(a) If the parties have been ordered by the court to attempt to settle parenting issues with the assistance of a parenting coordinator or parenting facilitator and to attempt to reach a proposed joint resolution or statement of intent regarding the dispute, the parenting coordinator or parenting facilitator, as applicable, shall submit a written report describing the parties' joint proposal or statement to the parties, any attorneys for the parties, and any attorney for the child who is the subject of the suit.

(b)  The proposed joint resolution or statement of intent is not an agreement unless the resolution or statement is:

(1)  prepared by the parties' attorneys, if any, in a form that meets the applicable requirements of:

(A)  Rule 11, Texas Rules of Civil Procedure;

(B)  a mediated settlement agreement described by Section 153.0071;

(C)  a collaborative law agreement described by Section 153.0072;

(D)  a settlement agreement described by Section 154.071, Civil Practice and Remedies Code; or

(E)  a proposed court order; and

(2)  incorporated into an order signed by the court.

(c)  A parenting coordinator or parenting facilitator may not draft a document listed in Subsection (b)(1).

(d)  The actions of a parenting coordinator or parenting facilitator under this section do not constitute the practice of law.

(e)  If the parties have been ordered by the court to attempt to settle parenting issues with the assistance of a parenting facilitator and are unable to settle those issues, the parenting facilitator may make recommendations, other than recommendations regarding the conservatorship of or possession of or access to the child, to the parties and attorneys to implement or clarify provisions of an existing court order that are consistent with the substantive intent of the court order and in the best interest of the child who is the subject of the suit.  A recommendation authorized by this subsection does not affect the terms of an existing court order.

Added by Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 1113, Sec. 22, eff. September 1, 2009.



Section 153.6083.  Communications And Recordkeeping Of Parenting Facilitator.

(a) Notwithstanding any rule, standard of care, or privilege applicable to the professional license held by a parenting facilitator, a communication made by a participant in parenting facilitation is subject to disclosure and may be offered in any judicial or administrative proceeding, if otherwise admissible under the rules of evidence.  The parenting facilitator may be required to testify in any proceeding relating to or arising from the duties of the parenting facilitator, including as to the basis for any recommendation made to the parties that arises from the duties of the parenting facilitator.

(b)  A parenting facilitator shall keep a detailed record regarding meetings and contacts with the parties, attorneys, or other persons involved in the suit.

(c)  A person who participates in parenting facilitation is not a patient as defined by Section 611.001, Health and Safety Code, and no record created as part of the parenting facilitation that arises from the parenting facilitator's duties is confidential.

(d)  On request, records of parenting facilitation shall be made available by the parenting facilitator to an attorney for a party, an attorney for a child who is the subject of the suit, and a party who does not have an attorney.

(e)  A parenting facilitator shall keep parenting facilitation records from the suit until the seventh anniversary of the date the facilitator's services are terminated, unless a different retention period is established by a rule adopted by the licensing authority that issues the professional license held by the parenting facilitator.

Added by Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 1113, Sec. 22, eff. September 1, 2009.



Section 153.609.  Compensation Of Parenting Coordinator.

(a) A court may not appoint a parenting coordinator, other than a domestic relations office or a comparable county agency appointed under Subsection (c) or a volunteer appointed under Subsection (d), unless, after notice and hearing, the court finds that the parties have the means to pay the fees of the parenting coordinator.

(b)  Any fees of a parenting coordinator appointed under Subsection (a) shall be allocated between the parties as determined by the court.

(c)  Public funds may not be used to pay the fees of a parenting coordinator.  Notwithstanding this prohibition, a court may appoint the domestic relations office or a comparable county agency to act as a parenting coordinator if personnel are available to serve that function.

(d)  If due to hardship the parties are unable to pay the fees of a parenting coordinator, and a public employee is not available under Subsection (c), the court, if feasible, may appoint a person to act as a parenting coordinator on a volunteer basis.

Added by Acts 2005, 79th Leg., Ch. 482, Sec. 2, eff. September 1, 2005.

Amended by:

Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1181, Sec. 10, eff. September 1, 2007.



Section 153.6091.  Compensation Of Parenting Facilitator.

Section 153.609 applies to the compensation of a parenting facilitator in the same manner as provided for the compensation of a parenting coordinator.

Added by Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 1113, Sec. 22, eff. September 1, 2009.



Section 153.610.  Qualifications Of Parenting Coordinator.

(a) The court shall determine the required qualifications of a parenting coordinator, provided that a parenting coordinator must have experience working in a field relating to families, have practical experience with high-conflict cases or litigation between parents, and:

(1)  hold at least:

(A)  a bachelor's degree in counseling, education, family studies, psychology, or social work; or

(B)  a graduate degree in a mental health profession, with an emphasis in family and children's issues; or

(2)  be licensed in good standing as an attorney in this state.

(b)  In addition to the qualifications prescribed by Subsection (a), a parenting coordinator must complete at least:

(1)  eight hours of family violence dynamics training provided by a family violence service provider;

(2)  40 classroom hours of training in dispute resolution techniques in a course conducted by an alternative dispute resolution system or other dispute resolution organization approved by the court; and

(3)  24 classroom hours of training in the fields of family dynamics, child development, family law and the law governing parenting coordination, and parenting coordination styles and procedures.

(c)  In appropriate circumstances, a court may, with the agreement of the parties, appoint a person as parenting coordinator who does not satisfy the requirements of Subsection (a) or Subsection (b)(2) or (3) if the court finds that the person has sufficient legal or other professional training or experience in dispute resolution processes to serve in that capacity.

(d)  The actions of a parenting coordinator who is not an attorney do not constitute the practice of law.

Added by Acts 2005, 79th Leg., Ch. 482, Sec. 2, eff. September 1, 2005.

Amended by:

Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 1113, Sec. 23, eff. September 1, 2009.



Section 153.6101.  Qualifications Of Parenting Facilitator.

(a) The court shall determine whether the qualifications of a proposed parenting facilitator satisfy the requirements of this section.  On request by a party, an attorney for a party, or any attorney for a child who is the subject of the suit, a person under consideration for appointment as a parenting facilitator in the suit shall provide proof that the person satisfies the minimum qualifications required by this section.

(b)  A parenting facilitator must:

(1)  hold a license to practice in this state as a social worker, licensed professional counselor, licensed marriage and family therapist, psychologist, or attorney; and

(2)  have completed at least:

(A)  eight hours of family violence dynamics training provided by a family violence service provider;

(B)  40 classroom hours of training in dispute resolution techniques in a course conducted by an alternative dispute resolution system or other dispute resolution organization approved by the court;

(C)  24 classroom hours of training in the fields of family dynamics, child development, and family law; and

(D)  16 hours of training in the laws governing parenting coordination and parenting facilitation and the multiple styles and procedures used in different models of service.

(c)  The actions of a parenting facilitator who is not an attorney do not constitute the practice of law.

Added by Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 1113, Sec. 24, eff. September 1, 2009.



Section 153.6102.  Parenting Facilitator; Conflicts Of Interest And Bias.

(a) A person who has a conflict of interest with, or has previous knowledge of, a party or a child who is the subject of a suit must, before being appointed as parenting facilitator in a suit:

(1)  disclose the conflict or previous knowledge to the court, each attorney for a party, any attorney for a child, and any party who does not have an attorney; and

(2)  decline appointment in the suit unless, after the disclosure, the parties and the child's attorney, if any, agree in writing to the person's appointment as parenting facilitator.

(b)  A parenting facilitator who, after being appointed in a suit, discovers that the parenting facilitator has a conflict of interest with, or has previous knowledge of, a party or a child who is the subject of the suit shall:

(1)  immediately disclose the conflict or previous knowledge to the court, each attorney for a party, any attorney for a child, and any party who does not have an attorney; and

(2)  withdraw from the suit unless, after the disclosure, the parties and the child's attorney, if any, agree in writing to the person's continuation as parenting facilitator.

(c)  A parenting facilitator, before accepting appointment in a suit, must disclose to the court, each attorney for a party, any attorney for a child who is the subject of the suit, and any party who does not have an attorney:

(1)  a pecuniary relationship with an attorney, party, or child in the suit;

(2)  a relationship of confidence or trust with an attorney, party, or child in the suit; and

(3)  other information regarding any relationship with an attorney, party, or child in the suit that might reasonably affect the ability of the person to act impartially during the person's service as parenting facilitator.

(d)  A person who makes a disclosure required by Subsection (c) shall decline appointment as parenting facilitator unless, after the disclosure, the parties and the child's attorney, if any, agree in writing to the person's service as parenting facilitator in the suit.

(e)  A parenting facilitator may not serve in any other professional capacity at any other time with any person who is a party to, or the subject of, the suit in which the person serves as parenting facilitator, or with any member of the family of a party or subject.  A person who, before appointment as a parenting facilitator in a suit, served in any other professional capacity with a person who is a party to, or subject of, the suit, or with any member of the family of a party or subject, may not serve as parenting facilitator in a suit involving any family member who is a party to or subject of the suit.  This subsection does not apply to a person whose only other service in a professional capacity with a family or any member of a family that is a party to or the subject of a suit to which this section applies is as a teacher of coparenting skills in a class conducted in a group setting.  For purposes of this subsection, "family" has the meaning assigned by Section 71.003.

(f)  A parenting facilitator shall promptly and simultaneously disclose to each party's attorney, any attorney for a child who is a subject of the suit, and any party who does not have an attorney the existence and substance of any communication between the parenting facilitator and another person, including a party, a party's attorney, a child who is the subject of the suit, and any attorney for a child who is the subject of the suit, if the communication occurred outside of a parenting facilitator session and involved the substance of parenting facilitation.

Added by Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 1113, Sec. 24, eff. September 1, 2009.



Section 153.611.  Exception For Certain Title Iv-d Proceedings.

Notwithstanding any other provision of this subchapter, this subchapter does not apply to a proceeding in a Title IV-D case relating to the determination of parentage or establishment, modification, or enforcement of a child support or medical support obligation.

Added by Acts 2005, 79th Leg., Ch. 482, Sec. 2, eff. September 1, 2005.



Subchapter L. Military Duty

Section 153.701.  Definitions.

In this subchapter:

(1)  "Designated person" means the person ordered by the court to temporarily exercise a conservator's rights, duties, and periods of possession and access with regard to a child during the conservator's military deployment, military mobilization, or temporary military duty.

(2)  "Military deployment" means the temporary transfer of a service member of the armed forces of this state or the United States serving in an active-duty status to another location in support of combat or some other military operation.

(3)  "Military mobilization" means the call-up of a National Guard or Reserve service member of the armed forces of this state or the United States to extended active duty status.  The term does not include National Guard or Reserve annual training.

(4)  "Temporary military duty" means the transfer of a service member of the armed forces of this state or the United States from one military base to a different location, usually another base, for a limited time for training or to assist in the performance of a noncombat mission.

Added by Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 727, Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2009.

Added by Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 1113, Sec. 25, eff. September 1, 2009.



Section 153.702.  Temporary Orders.

(a) If a conservator is ordered to military deployment, military mobilization, or temporary military duty that involves moving a substantial distance from the conservator's residence so as to materially affect the conservator's ability to exercise the conservator's rights and duties in relation to a child, either conservator may file for an order under this subchapter.

(b)  The court may render a temporary order in a proceeding under this subchapter regarding:

(1)  possession of or access to the child; or

(2)  child support.

(c)  A temporary order rendered by the court under this subchapter may grant rights to and impose duties on a designated person regarding the child, except the court may not require the designated person to pay child support.

(d)  After a conservator's military deployment, military mobilization, or temporary military duty is concluded, and the conservator returns to the conservator's usual residence, the temporary orders under this section terminate and the rights of all affected parties are governed by the terms of any court order applicable when the conservator is not ordered to military deployment, military mobilization, or temporary military duty.

Added by Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 727, Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2009.

Added by Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 1113, Sec. 25, eff. September 1, 2009.



Section 153.703.  Appointing Designated Person For Conservator With Exclusive Right To Designate Primary Residence Of Child.

(a) If the conservator with the exclusive right to designate the primary residence of the child is ordered to military deployment, military mobilization, or temporary military duty, the court may render a temporary order to appoint a designated person to exercise the exclusive right to designate the primary residence of the child during the military deployment, military mobilization, or temporary military duty in the following order of preference:

(1)  the conservator who does not have the exclusive right to designate the primary residence of the child;

(2)  if appointing the conservator described by Subdivision (1) is not in the child's best interest, a designated person chosen by the conservator with the exclusive right to designate the primary residence of the child; or

(3)  if appointing the conservator described by Subdivision (1) or the person chosen under Subdivision (2) is not in the child's best interest, another person chosen by the court.

(b)  A designated person named in a temporary order rendered under this section has the rights and duties of a nonparent appointed as sole managing conservator under Section 153.371.

(c)  The court may limit or expand the rights of a nonparent named as a designated person in a temporary order rendered under this section as appropriate to the best interest of the child.

Added by Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 727, Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2009.

Added by Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 1113, Sec. 25, eff. September 1, 2009.



Section 153.704.  Appointing Designated Person To Exercise Visitation For Conservator With Exclusive Right To Designate Primary Residence Of Child In Certain Circumstances.

(a) If the court appoints the conservator without the exclusive right to designate the primary residence of the child under Section 153.703(a)(1), the court may award visitation with the child to a designated person chosen by the conservator with the exclusive right to designate the primary residence of the child.

(b)  The periods of visitation shall be the same as the visitation to which the conservator without the exclusive right to designate the primary residence of the child was entitled under the court order in effect immediately before the date the temporary order is rendered.

(c)  The temporary order for visitation must provide that:

(1)  the designated person under this section has the right to possession of the child for the periods and in the manner in which the conservator without the exclusive right to designate the primary residence of the child is entitled under the court order in effect immediately before the date the temporary order is rendered;

(2)  the child's other conservator and the designated person under this section are subject to the requirements of Section 153.316, with the designated person considered for purposes of that section to be the possessory conservator;

(3)  the designated person under this section has the rights and duties of a nonparent possessory conservator under Section 153.376(a) during the period that the person has possession of the child; and

(4)  the designated person under this section is subject to any provision in a court order restricting or prohibiting access to the child by any specified individual.

(d)  The court may limit or expand the rights of a nonparent designated person named in a temporary order rendered under this section as appropriate to the best interest of the child.

Added by Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 727, Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2009.

Added by Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 1113, Sec. 25, eff. September 1, 2009.



Section 153.705.  Appointing Designated Person To Exercise Visitation For Conservator Without Exclusive Right To Designate Primary Residence Of Child.

(a) If the conservator without the exclusive right to designate the primary residence of the child is ordered to military deployment, military mobilization, or temporary military duty, the court may award visitation with the child to a designated person chosen by the conservator, if the visitation is in the best interest of the child.

(b)  The temporary order for visitation must provide that:

(1)  the designated person under this section has the right to possession of the child for the periods and in the manner in which the conservator described by Subsection (a) would be entitled if not ordered to military deployment, military mobilization, or temporary military duty;

(2)  the child's other conservator and the designated person under this section are subject to the requirements of Section 153.316, with the designated person considered for purposes of that section to be the possessory conservator;

(3)  the designated person under this section has the rights and duties of a nonparent possessory conservator under Section 153.376(a) during the period that the designated person has possession of the child; and

(4)  the designated person under this section is subject to any provision in a court order restricting or prohibiting access to the child by any specified individual.

(c)  The court may limit or expand the rights of a nonparent designated person named in a temporary order rendered under this section as appropriate to the best interest of the child.

Added by Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 727, Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2009.

Added by Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 1113, Sec. 25, eff. September 1, 2009.



Section 153.706.  Temporary Order For Child Support.

A temporary order rendered under this subchapter may result in a change of circumstances sufficient to justify a temporary order modifying the child support obligations of a party.

Added by Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 727, Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2009.

Added by Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 1113, Sec. 25, eff. September 1, 2009.



Section 153.707.  Expedited Hearing.

(a) On a motion by the conservator who has been ordered to military deployment, military mobilization, or temporary military duty, the court shall, for good cause shown, hold an expedited hearing if the court finds that the conservator's military duties have a material effect on the conservator's ability to appear in person at a regularly scheduled hearing.

(b)  A hearing under this section shall, if possible, take precedence over other suits affecting the parent-child relationship not involving a conservator who has been ordered to military deployment, military mobilization, or temporary military duty.

(c)  On a motion by any party, the court shall, after reasonable advance notice and for good cause shown, allow a party to present testimony and evidence by electronic means, including by teleconference or through the Internet.

Added by Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 727, Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2009.

Added by Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 1113, Sec. 25, eff. September 1, 2009.



Section 153.708.  Enforcement.

Temporary orders rendered under this subchapter may be enforced by or against the designated person to the same extent that an order would be enforceable against the conservator who has been ordered to military deployment, military mobilization, or temporary military duty.

Added by Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 727, Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2009.

Added by Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 1113, Sec. 25, eff. September 1, 2009.



Section 153.709.  Additional Periods Of Possession Or Access.

(a) Not later than the 90th day after the date a conservator without the exclusive right to designate the primary residence of the child who is a member of the armed services concludes the conservator's military deployment, military mobilization, or temporary military duty, the conservator may petition the court to:

(1)  compute the periods of possession of or access to the child to which the conservator would have otherwise been entitled during the conservator's deployment; and

(2)  award the conservator additional periods of possession of or access to the child to compensate for the periods described by Subdivision (1).

(b)  If the conservator described by Subsection (a) petitions the court under Subsection (a), the court:

(1)  shall compute the periods of possession or access to the child described by Subsection (a)(1); and

(2)  may award to the conservator additional periods of possession of or access to the child for a length of time and under terms the court considers reasonable, if the court determines that:

(A)  the conservator was on military deployment, military mobilization, or temporary military duty in a location where access to the child was not reasonably possible; and

(B)  the award of additional periods of possession of or access to the child is in the best interest of the child.

(c)  In making the determination under Subsection (b)(2), the court:

(1)  shall consider:

(A)  the periods of possession of or access to the child to which the conservator would otherwise have been entitled during the conservator's military deployment, military mobilization, or temporary military duty, as computed under Subsection (b)(1);

(B)  whether the court named a designated person under Section 153.705 to exercise limited possession of the child during the conservator's deployment; and

(C)  any other factor the court considers appropriate; and

(2)  is not required to award additional periods of possession of or access to the child that equals the possession or access to which the conservator would have been entitled during the conservator's military deployment, military mobilization, or temporary military duty, as computed under Subsection (b)(1).

(d)  After the conservator described by Subsection (a) has exercised all additional periods of possession or access awarded under this section, the rights of all affected parties are governed by the terms of the court order applicable when the conservator is not ordered to military deployment, military mobilization, or temporary military duty.

Added by Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 727, Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2009.

Added by Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 1113, Sec. 25, eff. September 1, 2009.


Personal tools
Laws
Variants
Actions
Navigation
Toolbox