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I need court approval for an authorization agreement for a nonparent adult caregiver.

Use this guide if you need court permission to sign a written Authorization Agreement for Nonparent Adult Caregiver.
Overview

Guide Overview

Is there already a court order saying who gets to make decisions about a child's life? Such orders include divorce decrees or Orders in Suits Affecting the Parent-Child Relationship. If so, you may need to ask the judge for permission to sign a written Authorization Agreement for Nonparent Adult Caregiver.

A parent can sign an “Authorization Agreement” form to give a close relative or approved nonrelative authority to care for and make decisions for a child.

Research Tips

Start by reading the following:

The law about these authorization agreements for nonparent adult caregivers is Texas Family Code chapter 34

Frequently Asked Questions

In the three situations below, the court’s permission must be granted before an Authorization Agreement can be signed.

  1. 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
  2. There is an open custody case.
  3. A court already has continuing, exclusive jurisdiction over the children.

Either:

  • 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.

Ideally, both the agreeing parent(s) and the nonparent caregiver will go to court so that the judge can speak 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.

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.

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.

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.

Instructions & Forms

These instructions explain the basic steps for a parent or adult caregiver to seek a court’s permission to execute (sign) an Authorization Agreement for Nonparent Adult Caregiver under Texas Family Code Chapter 34. Each step includes a link to the form or forms needed for that step.

Some commonly asked questions:

WARNING! These basic instructions provide general information, not legal advice. It’s a good idea to talk with a lawyer about your particular situation.

A lawyer is trained to protect your legal rights. Even if you decide to represent yourself, try to talk to a lawyer about your case before filing anything. You can hire a lawyer just to review your forms. This is called limited scope representationYou may also be able to talk with a lawyer for free at a legal clinic. If you need help finding a lawyer, you can:
 

You can print these instructions to use as a checklist.

 

Checklist Steps

Fill out the following forms:

Complete the form according to the instructions; however, it should not be signed or notarized until after the court permits you to execute it.

This form asks the judge to approve for you to execute (sign and make effective) the Authorization Agreement. The cause number, court number, county, and style at the top of the page should all be the same as your existing court order regarding the children for whom you are executing the Authorization Agreement.

The cause number, court number, county, and style at the top of the page should all be the same as your existing court order regarding the children for whom you are executing the Authorization Agreement.

 

Note: If you do not have an existing court order regarding your child and there is no pending litigation, you do not have to get the court’s permission to execute the Authorization Agreement.

Fill in the Order Approving Execution of an Authorization Agreement for Nonparent Adult Caregiver. Do not write in the date until you know what date you will see the judge. 

 

The cause number, court number, county, and style at the top of the page should all be the same as your existing court order regarding the children for whom you are executing the Authorization Agreement.

 

Because you are not required to serve any parties or give anyone notice of a hearing, you can contact your clerk’s office and ask them when your court has an “uncontested docket” or when the judge might be free to review your request. You may or may not be required to file your Request form to see the judge. Your local clerk can tell you the procedures for your county and court.

 

When you see the judge, you can hand them a copy of your Request for Approval, the Order for them to sign, and the Authorization Agreement that has been filled out but not executed (signed). The judge may ask why you need to execute the Authorization Agreement.

 

Once the judge signs the Order, attach it to the back of your Authorization Agreement and execute (sign) the Authorization Agreement.

 

Remember to follow all requirements for giving notice to the other parent(s) if they did not sign the Authorization Agreement. If you do not provide proper notice, the Authorization Agreement is void (not valid).

 

 

 

Forms Required

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