Suit Affecting the Parent-Child Relationship (SAPCR)
SAPCR: Custody, visitation and support when you're not divorcing.
Susan and Tom lived together, but weren't married. Susan got pregnant and had Tom's baby. After they had one child, they had another. They lived together, with the two kids, for four more years, but never married. One day, Tom decided family life wasn't his thing. He left Susan and the kids to pursue his rock star dreams.
Susan had trouble paying for daycare on her salary, alone. Tom felt Susan was punishing him. She wouldn't let him see the kids when he happened to be in town. Now that they've separated, Susan and Tom need help defining their parental rights and responsibilities.
When people become parents, they automatically have parental rights and responsibilities. If both parents live together, it's usually not necessary for a court to divide those rights. But sometimes parents separate or a relative must care for the children. When this happens, a court needs to establish custody, visitation, and child support. Court orders that divide parental rights are called Suits Affecting the Parent - Child Relationship (SAPCR orders) . SAPCR orders can be part of a divorce or paternity case. If paternity is already established and the parties aren't divorcing, the case is simply called a Suit Affecting the Parent-Child Relationship. SAPCR cases are governed by Subtitle B of the Texas Family Code.
Who can file a SAPCR?
You may be able to file a SAPCR if you meet one of these requirements:
- You are the child's parent, guardian, conservator, or legal representative.
- You are the child's alleged father.
- You had physical custody of the child for at least six months.
- You have lived with the child and the child's parent, guardian, or conservator for at least six months and the child's parent, guardian, or conservator has died.
- You are the child's foster parent.
- You are the child's close relative and the child's parents have died.
- You are the child's prospective adoptive parent.
There are two types of cases:
1. Agreed Cases,
2. Contested Cases, No Agreement