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Texas law lists a number of individual parental rights and duties at all times. This includes:

  • The right to receive information from the other parent regarding the health or welfare of the child,
  • The right to confer with the other parent to the extent possible regarding decisions concerning the health, education or welfare of the child,
  • The right to consult with the physician of the child,
  • The right to consult with school officials regarding the child’s welfare and educational status, regarding school activities,
  • The right to be designated as an emergency contact, and
  • The right to manage the estate of the child to the extent the estate has been created by the parent or the parent’s family.

A managing conservator, or the custodial parent, has the right to determine where the child will live. A possessory conservator, or non-custodial parent, has the legal right to spend time with the child and know the whereabouts of the child. These are called access and visitation rights, or possession rights. A parent’s visitation rights are not enforced by federal law. In Texas, an unmarried father is not automatically recognized as the father, and paternity must be established for a baby born to unmarried parents to have a legal father. The two ways for unmarried parents to establish paternity are to sign a legal document called an Acknowledgement of Paternity, and get a court order. When a baby is born to married parents, legal fatherhood is automatic. The husband is called the presumed father.


If the father is not married to the mother of his child, the child may be adopted by someone else without his permission. Unmarried fathers must act quickly to avoid losing their parental rights. If the father cannot make the appointed court date, he loses his parental rights. Texas law presumes that both parents will be "joint managing conservators," meaning they will share parental rights and duties. The presumption in Texas is the Standard Possession Order. This sets standard for parents specifying when the non-custodial parent has visitation rights. It is based upon how far apart the two parents live. This order may be modified based on the child’s best interest. A parent not paying child support in Texas is in contempt of court, and may be placed in jail for up to six months as penalty.


Just like biological parents, stepparents also have rights, and they can fight for enforcing these rights to visit their stepchildren. When a person is married to someone who has children from their previous marriage or relationship, they can develop emotional bonding with the children. The relationship built by stepparents with their stepchildren can have them entitled to rights after the split and divorce with the parents of the children. If you or a loved one are running into a situation like this, you should talk to our experienced Dallas family lawyers to get a knowledgeable advice about your case.


If you are a parent, and need help with the parental rights, our family lawyers can help you with that. Our lawyers have helped clients across different counties of Dallas Fort-Worth area for their family law disputes including fighting for the custody of the children and parental rights. Our attorneys and legal staff have experience of working on family law disputes involving custody and visitation rights, and they are here to provide you’re a knowledgeable and experienced legal service.


If you are looking for help with your parental rights disputes, our attorneys are available for a FREE CONSULTATION. You can schedule a FREE CONSULTATION by calling 972.789.1664, emailing, or filling out the form on top of this page. We offer convenient installment plans and accept all major credit cards.





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