texas child custody for grandparent, relative, or non-relative


Here at The Blacknall Firm, we understand that family matters can get complicated. There might be times when a grandparent, relative, or non-relative needs to seek custody of a child. Texas Family Code 102.003 and 102.004 set out the rules for when this is possible.

Understanding Texas Family Code 102.003: Who Can File For Custody?

Texas Family Code 102.003 explains who can file a suit affecting the parent-child relationship. That’s a formal way of saying who can file for custody of a child. Here are the guidelines:

  1. A Parent: This includes both biological and adoptive parents.
  2. A Relative Within the Third Degree by Consanguinity: This means a relative who is closely related by blood to the child. This could be grandparents, siblings, aunts, and uncles.
  3. A Person with Actual Care, Control, and Possession of the Child for at least 6 Months: If you’ve been taking care of the child day-to-day and had control and possession of the child for at least 6 months, ending not more than 90 days before the date of filing, you can file for custody.
  4. A Person Designated as the Managing Conservator in a Revocable or Irrevocable Adoption Placement: If you have been chosen as the managing conservator in an adoption process, you can file for custody.
  5. A Licensed Child Placing Agency: An agency that is legally allowed to place children can file for custody.

Texas Family Code 102.004: Additional Circumstances for Grandparents and Others to File for Custody

Texas Family Code 102.004 provides additional scenarios where a grandparent or other person can file for custody. This is especially relevant when the child’s current living situation could harm the child’s physical health or emotional development.

  1. A Grandparent, or Other Person: In situations where the child’s current circumstances would significantly impair the child’s physical health or emotional development, a grandparent or other person may file a suit requesting managing conservatorship (legal custody) of the child.
  2. Proof of Significant Impairment: The person filing under this section must provide satisfactory proof to the court that the child’s current living conditions would significantly harm their physical health or emotional well-being. This proof can come in various forms, such as documentation of abuse, neglect, or other harmful conditions. Medical records, school records, or testimonies from reliable sources might be used to establish this.

Seeking Legal Advice

Family law can be tricky, and it can be tough to understand your rights under these rules. It’s important to get help from a knowledgeable attorney. At The Blacknall Firm, we focus on family law and are ready to help you understand your rights and options under Texas Family Code 102.003 and 102.004.

To discuss retaining our firm for your divorce or child custody case, please schedule a consultation with us today.