What is an Authorization Agreement for a nonparent caregiver?
An “authorization agreement” form gives a close relative or approved nonrelative the temporary authority to care for, and make decisions for, a child. Read Authorization for Nonparent Care of a Child.
Do I need court permission to sign an authorization agreement for a nonparent caregiver?
In the three situations below, the court’s permission must be granted before an Authorization Agreement can be signed.
- There is already a court order—like a divorce or order in suit affecting the parent-child relationship—saying who makes decisions about a child's life
- There is an open custody case.
- A court already has continuing, exclusive jurisdiction over the children.
Who can file a Request for Approval to Execute an Authorization Agreement for Nonparent Adult Caregiver?
Who can file this request?
- One or both of the parents who are signing the Authorization Agreement, or
- The nonparent adult caregiver who will be providing care for the child.
Note: Ideally, both the agreeing parent(s) and the nonparent caregiver will go to court so that the judge can talk to each of them; but, it is possible for only one person to go to court to get the judge’s permission. The person going to court should be the one filling out and filing the Request.
How do I know if a court has continuing, exclusive jurisdiction over a child?
In general, if a court has issued a final order regarding a child, and no action has been taken to transfer the case to another court, then that court still has continuing, exclusive jurisdiction over the child. This means that the court is the court that has the power to make court orders about that child. See Texas Family Code chapter 155.
Note: Even if you have never gone to court, you may still have a court order if you have applied for or been referred for child support through the Texas Attorney General’s Office.
You can also use the Inquiry on Court of Continuing Jurisdiction for a Child to identify the court that has exclusive jurisdiction in a suit affecting the parent-child relationship.
Will there be a filing fee?
Because you are not re-opening a custody case or asking for a new final order, there should not be a filing fee associated with this request.
Do I need to serve anyone, including the other parent?
Chapter 34 of the Texas Family Code does not require you to serve anyone with a copy of this Request before you ask the court for permission to execute the Authorization Agreement.
But if the request is granted and the Authorization Agreement is executed, you must give notice to a parent who did not sign the Authorization Agreement. A copy of the executed Authorization Agreement must be mailed (certified mail, return receipt requested) to the other parent’s last known address within 10 days after the date the Authorization Agreement is signed.
Why does continuing jurisdiction over a child matter?
Texas law says only one court at a time should be making decisions about a child. This is so that there will not be multiple, conflicting orders about that child, and confusion about which order should be followed.
Is there a form to use to ask the court for permission to sign an authorization agreement?
TexasLawHelp has a form Request for Approval to Execute an Authorization Agreement for Nonparent Adult Caregiver.
This is the form that the judge will sign to give you permission to execute (sign) the Authorization Agreement. You should fill out the cause number, style, court number, and County before going to court.
Both the agreeing parent and the nonparent caregiver should sign their name at the bottom of the order to show the judge that they are in agreement with the Order.
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