WHO CAN FILE A CHILD CUSTODY SUIT?
Because there are many care situations a child can be placed in there can be a number of people involved in a child�s life with the right to file for a child custody suit. So before acting one needs to first determine if they are eligible.
In the state of Texas, a child custody suit may only be filed by a person with proper �standing�. That person is someone who has a legally protected interest in the child and not every person may file a child custody suit with respect to any child.
A child custody suit is commenced under Title V of the Family Code. TEX.FAM.CODE
ANN. � 102.002. Family Code section 102.003 lists persons who can file a suit.
The court is interested foremost, in maximizing a child�s continued contact with the parents provided they have shown they are capable of serving the best interests of the child. A parent may even be in some instances a man alleging to be the biological father of the child.
The parents are deemed to be incapable serving the best interests of the child where there is a history of sexual or physical abuse for example. In other cases the parents are not eligible where they have previously relinquished their right to parent to another party of their choice.
This opens up the area of who else is of proper standing and eligible to file a child custody suit. This list can include a custodian or someone who has the right of visitation or access to a child previously appointed by the court of another state or country.
In situations where child�s parents have died, a relative who falls within the third degree of consanguinity, so a sibling, aunt/uncle or grandparent, is then able to file an original suit.
Beyond that, the court will allow a suit from someone who has had actual care, control, and possession of the child for at least six months or the carer who lived with the parent/guardian and child where the parent is now dead or a person who is the foster parent of the child, placed by the Department of Protective and Regulatory Services in the person's home for at least 12 months may also apply.
Suits can even be filed by entities who have been involved in the child�s care such as a government entity, authorized agency or a licensed child placing agency.
In short the legal system is has a broad inclusion of people�s of proper standing who are able to file and original suit to reflect a range of care situations a child might find themselves in. If you�re not sure where you fit in all this, it is best to seek the advice of an attorney in your area who has experience child custody law.