A grandmother playing with her grandchild after her parents learned about signing over custody to a family member in Texas

How Does It Work Signing Over Custody to a Family Member in Texas?

Child custody is a serious legal matter in the state of Texas. There are many laws in place designed to support the parent-child relationship so that children can live in a safe and stable environment.

You may find yourself in a situation where you cannot offer your child a healthy environment and need to temporarily or permanently grant custody of your child to another person in your family.

I will examine how signing over custody to a family member in Texas works. I will also present you with information about finding legal support for your situation so that you arrive at the best possible outcome for you and your child.

Temporarily Signing Over Custody of Your Child

You might have questions about whether you can give someone else temporary custody of your child. The answer is that yes, Texas courts will allow you to sign over custody of your child temporarily.

This is known as an emergency or temporary order, where you will need to petition the court to approve your child being placed in the care of another individual for a set period of time.

The key is that you cannot simply tell a grandparent or another family member that they have custody of your child. This could lead to legal issues such as child endangerment or child neglect because you have not gone through the court to formally transition decision-making power to another party for a designated length of time.

To assign temporary custody of your child to another party, you must fill out the appropriate temporary custody forms in your Texas county, petitioning the court to be granted this emergency order. Then, when it’s time for a court hearing, you will need to explain the situation to the presiding judge. You will need to provide information such as:

  • Why you are temporarily assigning custody of your child to another party
  • Why the other party is competent and responsible for caring for your child
  • How long you are requesting a temporary transition of custody
  • What provisions you have made to support the child during this time

I recommend working with a family law attorney to complete this process, as you want to protect your parental rights and not risk having your child permanently removed from your care.

As an expert in child custody legal matters, I can help you through each step in the process. I will help you complete the forms, file the appropriate documents with the court, and present your argument before the court.

Permanently Signing Over Custody of Your Child

A more serious legal matter is completely signing over custody to a family member in Texas.

If you believe that you can no longer provide a safe and stable home for your child and if you think that the present circumstances will not improve, then you can attempt to terminate the parent-child relationship. Taking this action will open the door for someone else (e.g., a grandparent) to be named the child’s managing conservator.

When you decide to take this course of action, you will need to file an Affidavit of Voluntary Relinquishment of Parental Rights in the county where you live. As part of your filing, you will have the opportunity to designate the managing conservator in your affidavit of relinquishment. This can be a family member as long as the person meets the standard of a “competent person.”

The court will then review your petition and conduct a hearing to discuss the serious nature of this legal action. Included will be a review of why you believe that terminating the parent-child relationship is in the child’s best interest.

Additionally, a judge will want to ensure that you understand the following:

  • You are terminating your rights to support the upbringing of the child.
  • You will have zero or limited contact with the child going forward.
  • The managing conservator will have the authority to make decisions on behalf of the child.
  • The court has the ability to review the situation at a future time, where they could appoint someone else or another entity (e.g., foster care) as the managing conservator if it is in the best interest of the child.

Because of the serious nature of this situation, you will certainly want to work with a family law attorney. I will review the legal ramifications with you, help you file the appropriate documents with the court, and provide you with expert legal representation before the assigned judge.

Find Support from a Family Law Attorney

You don’t have to go at it alone temporarily or permanently signing over custody to a family member in Texas. I understand that you could be in a difficult situation, and you don’t want to risk further damage to your child. Let me serve as a legal advocate working on behalf of you and your child.

I currently help parents in Fort Bend County, Brazoria County, and Harris County with child custody issues. If you live in one of these Texas counties, then reach out to me right away to discuss your situation.

Call my offices today at 281-944-5485 or 979-267-7660 to find legal support with child custody. I’ll help you take the appropriate steps to legally assign custody of your child to a family member.