my sister has a baby that is now 2 years and 6 months old. The father is a drug addict who has never attempted to have anything to do with the baby. This morning she got a message stating that he has filed papers for paternity rights. What can we do to make his stay away, to sever his rights? I cant find anything on google about Texas law. This man is an absolute threat and has made it clear that he will run with the baby if he gets the chance. What can we do?!?!
I’m no lawyer but I’d look into what the texas laws are reguarding abandonment by the father.
My daughter was born in Texas and to get her passport on only my signature I had to include letters from people who have known us as long as she’s been alive that they have never seen her father or heard that he was around. This proved to the passport office that he had “Abandoned his rights” but the passport office won’t have the exact same rules as Texas Law. Still it might be a starting place of what to look for.
I would also make sure all the knowledge of his being a drug addict and all threats he has made are documented.
Get an attorney IMMEDIATELY!!! A lawyer in family law practice will tell you exactly what your options are and help you take necessary actions (including possibly a restraining order if the father is dangerous to you or your child) without delay.
I will hold you in my prayers. Now get a lawyer. Now!
Nada te turbe, nada te espante. Todo se pasa. Dios no se muda.
Let nothing disturb you, let nothing frighten you. All things pass away. God never changes. (St. Teresa of Avila)
Do NOT try and handle this yourself with Google or via advice from non-professionals on an anonymous forum.
Your sister needs to hire an attorney licensed to practice in and familiar with Texas family law proto. If the father of her child has filed papers with a court there is likely a hearing date scheduled–she needs to find this out right away so she does not fail to either appear or respond in a timely manner to his filing.
I am a Texas lawyer, although I do not handle or know the first thing about this sort of thing. But, if you contact me I will try to help by referring you to the right person. I am in North Texas and know attorneys all over the state.
Thanks everyone especially Matt and Estes for the PMs. My brother just called, he got an attorney for my sister and apparently the abandonment period is one year in Texas. so hopefully things are now moving in the right direction. We just have to wait and receive the papers to see what he is claiming. Please keep up the prayers. I have asked Mother Mary to protect my sister and neice and to keep this evil man away from them. I am sure in my heart of hearts that she has wrapped her shroud around them as we speak.
Tar…first thing is don’t panic. WHat would this man do with a child? He has no place in his life for one… while you have to take his threats seriously, don’t stress about it because he is most likely just saying he is filing to jerk her chain. Not only that, but in most states you have to prove the custodial parent unfit to take the child away. And, as my lawyer put it when I went through this in Illinois…mom has to be a drug addict who beats her kids and leaves them at home alone… etc to get the child taken away.
So now, breathe… He won’t do it, but retain a lawyer and leave it at that.
In Texas, as in Illinois, he has to have proof. I am sure your sister’s ex thinks he can toddle into court, demand the judge give him custody, and force your sister to fork over the kid. It simply isn’t so. This isn’t an established marriage, where he has been in the house for years. This is a guy who is going to need a paternity test, for one thing.
By the way, here is the Family Code portion of the Texas Civil Statutes:
Might I point out to you Chapter 106, Sections .0001 and .0002? If he has her served, she gets to make a response. She can sue him for reasonable attorney’s fees and court costs, esp. if she can’t afford to pay a good attorney. Chapter 153.0002 points to “best interest of the child”. Something tells me this man is not that best interest. Texas also has interesting law, in that it is age-specific to the child. What’s good for fifteen year olds is not good for three year olds in Texas.
I’d wait to get served, to see if he really followed through, or is only making threats. While I waited, I’d take my time, scouting out all the family law attorneys in the area, showing up for one appointment and interviewing them, so that Mr. Ex can’t use the good ones if he gets the gumption to file.
If Mr. Ex did bother to actually file papers, I’d choose the best attorney of the ones I interviewed and let him collect his money from Mr. Ex. A good attorney will know how to do this. I’d also have the attorney ask for child support (Chapter 154), a blood test for DNA (Chapter 160.001)and a psych profile with a visitation schedule in preparation for supervised visitation (Chapter 153). This will involve Mr. Ex reporting to a psychologist, who will make a determination as to how long Mr. Ex must have supervised visitation. This cost will be paid by Mr. Ex, along with the visitation supervisor. And let us not forget the child’s guardian ad litem (Chapter 107.002), which will also be paid by Mr. Ex. And the little matter of Mr. Ex’s drug abuse can be brought up via Chapter 153.004, in which the parent must stay away from drugs or alcohol 12 hours prior to any visitation. This will involve a urine or other test- which will be Mr. Ex’s responsibility. Your sister can ask to be appointed sole managing conservator, per Chapter 153.371. And then Mr. Ex can be forced to pay a surety bond (like bail) in order to ensure that the boy is returned. In your sister’s answer to Mr. Ex’s petition and countersuit, the attorney will of course ask for all these fees.
SO- That would be what I’d look for in an attorney. And as you see, old Mr. Ex might be annoying, but he’s not such a big threat, after all, with the right attorney.
Based on your screen name I am guessing you are neither licensed nor practising law in Texas. If that is correct–you potentially do more harm than good by picking out code sections and quoting them as gospel. You are unaware of how local practice/custom, ethics rules, procedures and/or case law affect the application of the statutes you cited and/or what others might be implicated or overriding in effect. Let’s agree Tar needs professional advice and leave it to the local talent to give her the specifics.
I was only trying to ease her mind. People get geared up about stuff like this, and run to the first lawyer they see because they are afraid.
And no, I’m not a lawyer. I don’t even play one on TV.
I’ve asked the mod to pull my post above, with all the Texas code links. It wasn’t my finest moment. I am in no shape to give anybody advice right now.
I live in Texas and my sister had an issue with the father of her children. The one thing she did was said that he was not the father so that he then had to prove it in a court of law. He was the father but she did not list him on their birth certificates because they were not married. It is dirty pool but she felt that she had to do it to protect her kids.
He didn’t have the money or the wherewithall to get a DNA test or pursue it that far. Now if you admit that he is the father of the kid, then he doesn’t have as much work to do. Texas is a really weird state and I have seen custody stuff go either way even if one parent does not appear to be a fit parent. If he does step up as the father, then you can also sue him for back child support. I have seen this done in Texas. Sometimes, it is best for the father to fade into the background because if the child has been on any kind of public assistance or anything like that then he could possibly be held liable for that too.
I don’t want to scare you but some places in Texas are plagued with the good ole boy system where it doesn’t always matter what is “right” or “wrong”. The best thing you can do is hire an attorney and pray like crazy. You also need to document whatever you can and get as many witnesses to make statements as to his character and how unfit he is.
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Mane Nobiscum Domine,
no, I am not a Tx lawyer specializing in family law, why not take the obvious course and consult one?
we have a ban on this forum of offering medical advice, may I suggest to the mods that we extend that ban to legal advice.
I wasnt asking for lawyers Puzzle and Island, more if anyone had been through this type of situation before, if anyone had a good idea as to where to start with the research and for prayers. I appreciate EVERYONES advice and help, no one should be made to feel bad for reaching out to another human being in need. sheesh.:rolleyes:
attorneys aint cheap, the good ones at least!