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Legal Information: Texas


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April 10, 2018

I am the child’s relative. Can I get managing or possessory conservatorship (custody)?

Managing Conservatorship

A child’s great-grandparent, grandparent, uncle or aunt can file for managing conservatorship if there is “satisfactory” proof that:

  • it is necessary because the child’s present situation is mentally or physically harmful for the child; or
  • both parents, or the surviving parent, or the managing conservator either filed the petition or consented to the suit.*

In addition, any person regardless if they are related to the child or not, can file for managing conservatorship if:

  • s/he has had actual care, control, and possession of the child for at least 6 months ending not more than 90 days before filing; or
  • the child, child’s guardian, managing conservator, or parent has lived with the person for at least 6 months ending not more than 90 days before filing and the child’s guardian, managing conservator or parent is dead when the person files.**

Possessory Conservatorship

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

* Tex. Fam. Code § 102.004
** Tex. Fam. Code § 102.003
*** Tex. Fam. Code § 102.004(b)