FAMILY CODE

CHAPTER 153. CONSERVATORSHIP, POSSESSION, AND ACCESS

SUBCHAPTER A. GENERAL PROVISIONS

§ 153.001. PUBLIC POLICY. (a) The public policy of
this state is to:
(1) assure that children will have frequent and
continuing contact with parents who have shown the ability to act in
the best interest of the child;
(2) provide a safe, stable, and nonviolent environment
for the child; and
(3) encourage parents to share in the rights and
duties of raising their child after the parents have separated or
dissolved their marriage.
(b) A court may not render an order that conditions the
right of a conservator to possession of or access to a child on the
payment of child support.

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 20, § 1, eff. April 20, 1995.
Amended by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 751, § 25, eff. Sept. 1,
1995; Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 787, § 2, eff. Sept. 1, 1999.

§ 153.002. BEST INTEREST OF CHILD. The best interest of
the child shall always be the primary consideration of the court in
determining the issues of conservatorship and possession of and
access to the child.

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 20, § 1, eff. April 20, 1995.

§ 153.003. NO DISCRIMINATION BASED ON SEX OR MARITAL
STATUS. The court shall consider the qualifications of the parties
without regard to their marital status or to the sex of the party or
the child in determining:
(1) which party to appoint as sole managing
conservator;
(2) whether to appoint a party as joint managing
conservator; and
(3) the terms and conditions of conservatorship and
possession of and access to the child.

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 20, § 1, eff. April 20, 1995.

§ 153.004. HISTORY OF DOMESTIC VIOLENCE. (a) In
determining whether to appoint a party as a sole or joint managing
conservator, the court shall consider evidence of the intentional
use of abusive physical force by a party against the party’s spouse,
a parent of the child, or any person younger than 18 years of age
committed within a two-year period preceding the filing of the suit
or during the pendency of the suit.
(b) The court may not appoint joint managing conservators if
credible evidence is presented of a history or pattern of past or
present child neglect, or physical or sexual abuse by one parent
directed against the other parent, a spouse, or a child, including a
sexual assault in violation of Section 22.011 or 22.021, Penal
Code, that results in the other parent becoming pregnant with the
child. A history of sexual abuse includes a sexual assault that
results in the other parent becoming pregnant with the child,
regardless of the prior relationship of the parents. It is a
rebuttable presumption that the appointment of a parent as the sole
managing conservator of a child or as the conservator who has the
exclusive right to determine the primary residence of a child is not
in the best interest of the child if credible evidence is presented
of a history or pattern of past or present child neglect, or
physical or sexual abuse by that parent directed against the other
parent, a spouse, or a child.
(c) The court shall consider the commission of family
violence in determining whether to deny, restrict, or limit the
possession of a child by a parent who is appointed as a possessory
conservator.
(d) The court may not allow a parent to have access to a
child for whom it is shown by a preponderance of the evidence that
there is a history or pattern of committing family violence during
the two years preceding the date of the filing of the suit or during
the pendency of the suit, unless the court:
(1) finds that awarding the parent access to the child
would not endanger the child’s physical health or emotional welfare
and would be in the best interest of the child; and
(2) renders a possession order that is designed to
protect the safety and well-being of the child and any other person
who has been a victim of family violence committed by the parent and
that may include a requirement that:
(A) the periods of access be continuously
supervised by an entity or person chosen by the court;
(B) the exchange of possession of the child occur
in a protective setting;
(C) the parent abstain from the consumption of
alcohol or a controlled substance, as defined by Chapter 481,
Health and Safety Code, within 12 hours prior to or during the
period of access to the child; or
(D) the parent attend and complete a battering
intervention and prevention program as provided by Article 42.141,
Code of Criminal Procedure, or, if such a program is not available,
complete a course of treatment under Section 153.010.
(e) It is a rebuttable presumption that it is not in the best
interest of a child for a parent to have unsupervised visitation
with the child if credible evidence is presented of a history or
pattern of past or present child neglect or physical or sexual abuse
by that parent directed against the other parent, a spouse, or a
child.
(f) In determining under this section whether there is
credible evidence of a history or pattern of past or present child
neglect or physical or sexual abuse by a parent directed against the
other parent, a spouse, or a child, the court shall consider whether
a protective order was rendered under Chapter 85, Title 4, against
the parent during the two-year period preceding the filing of the
suit or during the pendency of the suit.

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 20, § 1, eff. April 20, 1995.
Amended by Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 774, § 1, eff. Sept. 1,
1999; Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 787, § 3, eff. Sept. 1, 1999;
Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 586, § 1, eff. Sept. 1, 2001; Acts
2003, 78th Leg., ch. 642, § 1, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.

§ 153.005. APPOINTMENT OF SOLE OR JOINT MANAGING
CONSERVATOR. (a) In a suit, the court may appoint a sole managing
conservator or may appoint joint managing conservators. If the
parents are or will be separated, the court shall appoint at least
one managing conservator.
(b) A managing conservator must be a parent, a competent
adult, an authorized agency, or a licensed child-placing agency.

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 20, § 1, eff. April 20, 1995.

§ 153.006. APPOINTMENT OF POSSESSORY
CONSERVATOR. (a) If a managing conservator is appointed, the
court may appoint one or more possessory conservators.
(b) The court shall specify the rights and duties of a
person appointed possessory conservator.
(c) The court shall specify and expressly state in the order
the times and conditions for possession of or access to the child,
unless a party shows good cause why specific orders would not be in
the best interest of the child.

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 20, § 1, eff. April 20, 1995.

§ 153.007. AGREEMENT CONCERNING
CONSERVATORSHIP. (a) To promote the amicable settlement of
disputes between the parties to a suit, the parties may enter into a
written agreement containing provisions for conservatorship and
possession of the child and for modification of the agreement,
including variations from the standard possession order.
(b) If the court finds that the agreement is in the child’s
best interest, the court shall render an order in accordance with
the agreement.
(c) Terms of the agreement contained in the order or
incorporated by reference regarding conservatorship or support of
or access to a child in an order may be enforced by all remedies
available for enforcement of a judgment, including contempt, but
are not enforceable as a contract.
(d) If the court finds the agreement is not in the child’s
best interest, the court may request the parties to submit a revised
agreement or the court may render an order for the conservatorship
and possession of the child.

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 20, § 1, eff. April 20, 1995.
Amended by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 751, § 26, eff. Sept. 1,
1995.

§ 153.0071. ALTERNATE DISPUTE RESOLUTION
PROCEDURES. (a) On written agreement of the parties, the court
may refer a suit affecting the parent-child relationship to
arbitration. The agreement must state whether the arbitration is
binding or non-binding.
(b) If the parties agree to binding arbitration, the court
shall render an order reflecting the arbitrator’s award unless the
court determines at a non-jury hearing that the award is not in the
best interest of the child. The burden of proof at a hearing under
this subsection is on the party seeking to avoid rendition of an
order based on the arbitrator’s award.
(c) On the written agreement of the parties or on the
court’s own motion, the court may refer a suit affecting the
parent-child relationship to mediation.
(d) A mediated settlement agreement is binding on the
parties if the agreement:
(1) provides, in a prominently displayed statement
that is in boldfaced type or capital letters or underlined, that the
agreement is not subject to revocation;
(2) is signed by each party to the agreement; and
(3) is signed by the party’s attorney, if any, who is
present at the time the agreement is signed.
(e) If a mediated settlement agreement meets the
requirements of Subsection (d), a party is entitled to judgment on
the mediated settlement agreement notwithstanding Rule 11, Texas
Rules of Civil Procedure, or another rule of law.
(f) A party may at any time prior to the final mediation
order file a written objection to the referral of a suit affecting
the parent-child relationship to mediation on the basis of family
violence having been committed by another party against the
objecting party or a child who is the subject of the suit. After an
objection is filed, the suit may not be referred to mediation
unless, on the request of a party, a hearing is held and the court
finds that a preponderance of the evidence does not support the
objection. If the suit is referred to mediation, the court shall
order appropriate measures be taken to ensure the physical and
emotional safety of the party who filed the objection. The order
shall provide that the parties not be required to have face-to-face
contact and that the parties be placed in separate rooms during
mediation. This subsection does not apply to suits filed under
Chapter 262.

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 751, § 27, eff. Sept. 1, 1995.
Amended by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 937, § 3, eff. Sept. 1,
1997; Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 178, § 7, eff. Aug. 30, 1999;
Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 1351, § 2, eff. Sept. 1, 1999.

§ 153.0072. COLLABORATIVE LAW. (a) On a written
agreement of the parties and their attorneys, a suit affecting the
parent-child relationship may be conducted under collaborative law
procedures.
(b) Collaborative law is a procedure in which the parties
and their counsel agree in writing to use their best efforts and
make a good faith attempt to resolve the suit affecting the
parent-child relationship on an agreed basis without resorting to
judicial intervention except to have the court approve the
settlement agreement, make the legal pronouncements, and sign the
orders required by law to effectuate the agreement of the parties as
the court determines appropriate. The parties’ counsel may not
serve as litigation counsel except to ask the court to approve the
settlement agreement.
(c) A collaborative law agreement must include provisions
for:
(1) full and candid exchange of information between
the parties and their attorneys as necessary to make a proper
evaluation of the case;
(2) suspending court intervention in the dispute while
the parties are using collaborative law procedures;
(3) hiring experts, as jointly agreed, to be used in
the procedure;
(4) withdrawal of all counsel involved in the
collaborative law procedure if the collaborative law procedure does
not result in settlement of the dispute; and
(5) other provisions as agreed to by the parties
consistent with a good faith effort to collaboratively settle the
matter.
(d) Notwithstanding Rule 11, Texas Rules of Civil
Procedure, or another rule or law, a party is entitled to judgment
on a collaborative law settlement agreement if the agreement:
(1) provides, in a prominently displayed statement
that is boldfaced, capitalized, or underlined, that the agreement
is not subject to revocation; and
(2) is signed by each party to the agreement and the
attorney of each party.
(e) Subject to Subsection (g), a court that is notified 30
days before trial that the parties are using collaborative law
procedures to attempt to settle a dispute may not, until a party
notifies the court that the collaborative law procedures did not
result in a settlement:
(1) set a hearing or trial in the case;
(2) impose discovery deadlines;
(3) require compliance with scheduling orders; or
(4) dismiss the case.
(f) The parties shall notify the court if the collaborative
law procedures result in a settlement. If they do not, the parties
shall file:
(1) a status report with the court not later than the
180th day after the date of the written agreement to use the
procedures; and
(2) a status report on or before the first anniversary
of the date of the written agreement to use the procedures,
accompanied by a motion for continuance that the court shall grant
if the status report indicates the desire of the parties to continue
to use collaborative law procedures.
(g) If the collaborative law procedures do not result in a
settlement on or before the second anniversary of the date that the
suit was filed, the court may:
(1) set the suit for trial on the regular docket; or
(2) dismiss the suit without prejudice.

Added by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 1022, § 2, eff. Sept. 1, 2001.

§ 153.008. CHILD’S PREFERENCE OF PERSON TO DESIGNATE
RESIDENCE. A child 12 years of age or older may file with the court
in writing the name of the person who is the child’s preference to
have the exclusive right to designate the primary residence of the
child, subject to the approval of the court.

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 20, § 1, eff. April 20, 1995.
Amended by Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 1390, § 12, eff. Sept. 1,
1999; Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 1289, § 1, eff. Sept. 1, 2001;
Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 1036, § 5, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.

§ 153.009. INTERVIEW OF CHILD IN CHAMBERS. (a) In a
nonjury trial the court may interview the child in chambers to
determine the child’s wishes as to conservatorship.
(b) When the issue of managing conservatorship is
contested, on the application of a party, the court shall interview
a child 12 years of age or older and may interview a child under 12
years of age. Interviewing a child does not diminish the discretion
of the court.
(c) The court may permit the attorney for a party or the
attorney ad litem for the child to be present at the interview.
(d) On the motion of a party or on the court’s own motion,
the court shall cause a record of the interview to be made when the
child is 12 years of age or older. A record of the interview shall
be part of the record in the case.

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 20, § 1, eff. April 20, 1995.
Amended by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 781, § 1, eff. Sept. 1,
1997; Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 1289, § 2, eff. Sept. 1, 2001.

§ 153.010. ORDER FOR FAMILY COUNSELING. (a) If the
court finds at the time of a hearing that the parties have a history
of conflict in resolving an issue of conservatorship or possession
of or access to the child, the court may order a party to:
(1) participate in counseling with a mental health
professional who:
(A) has a background in family therapy;
(B) has a mental health license that requires as
a minimum a master’s degree; and
(C) has training in domestic violence if the
court determines that the training is relevant to the type of
counseling needed; and
(2) pay the cost of counseling.
(b) If a person possessing the requirements of Subsection
(a)(1) is not available in the county in which the court presides,
the court may appoint a person the court believes is qualified to
conduct the counseling ordered under Subsection (a).

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 20, § 1, eff. April 20, 1995.
Amended by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 645, § 1, eff. Sept. 1,
1997.

§ 153.011. SECURITY BOND. If the court finds that a
person who has a possessory interest in a child may violate the
court order relating to the interest, the court may order the party
to execute a bond or deposit security. The court shall set the
amount and condition the bond or security on compliance with the
order.

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 20, § 1, eff. April 20, 1995.

§ 153.012. RIGHT TO PRIVACY; DELETION OF PERSONAL
INFORMATION IN RECORDS. The court may order the custodian of
records to delete all references in the records to the place of
residence of either party appointed as a conservator of the child
before the release of the records to another party appointed as a
conservator.

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 20, § 1, eff. April 20, 1995.

§ 153.013. FALSE REPORT OF CHILD ABUSE. (a) If a party
to a pending suit affecting the parent-child relationship makes a
report alleging child abuse by another party to the suit that the
reporting party knows lacks a factual foundation, the court shall
deem the report to be a knowingly false report.
(b) Evidence of a false report of child abuse is admissible
in a suit between the involved parties regarding the terms of
conservatorship of a child.
(c) If the court makes a finding under Subsection (a), the
court shall impose a civil penalty not to exceed $500.

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 751, § 28, eff. Sept. 1, 1995.
Amended by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 786, § 2, eff. Sept. 1,
1997.

§ 153.014. VISITATION CENTERS AND VISITATION EXCHANGE
FACILITIES. A county may establish a visitation center or a
visitation exchange facility for the purpose of facilitating the
terms of a court order providing for the possession of or access to
a child.

Added by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 577, § 1, eff. June 11, 2001.

SUBCHAPTER B. PARENT APPOINTED AS CONSERVATOR: IN GENERAL

§ 153.071. COURT TO SPECIFY RIGHTS AND DUTIES OF PARENT
APPOINTED A CONSERVATOR. If both parents are appointed as
conservators of the child, the court shall specify the rights and
duties of a parent that are to be exercised:
(1) by each parent independently;
(2) by the joint agreement of the parents; and
(3) exclusively by one parent.

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 20, § 1, eff. April 20, 1995.

§ 153.072. WRITTEN FINDING REQUIRED TO LIMIT PARENTAL
RIGHTS AND DUTIES. The court may limit the rights and duties of a
parent appointed as a conservator if the court makes a written
finding that the limitation is in the best interest of the child.

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 20, § 1, eff. April 20, 1995.

§ 153.073. RIGHTS OF PARENT AT ALL TIMES. (a) Unless
limited by court order, a parent appointed as a conservator of a
child has at all times the right:
(1) to receive information from any other conservator
of the child concerning the health, education, and welfare of the
child;
(2) to confer with the other parent to the extent
possible before making a decision concerning the health, education,
and welfare of the child;
(3) of access to medical, dental, psychological, and
educational records of the child;
(4) to consult with a physician, dentist, or
psychologist of the child;
(5) to consult with school officials concerning the
child’s welfare and educational status, including school
activities;
(6) to attend school activities;
(7) to be designated on the child’s records as a person
to be notified in case of an emergency;
(8) to consent to medical, dental, and surgical
treatment during an emergency involving an immediate danger to the
health and safety of the child; and
(9) to manage the estate of the child to the extent the
estate has been created by the parent or the parent’s family.
(b) The court shall specify in the order the rights that a
parent retains at all times.

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 20, § 1, eff. April 20, 1995.
Amended by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 751, § 29, eff. Sept. 1,
1995; Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 1036, § 6, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.

§ 153.074. RIGHTS AND DUTIES DURING PERIOD OF
POSSESSION. Unless limited by court order, a parent appointed as a
conservator of a child has the following rights and duties during
the period that the parent has possession of the child:
(1) the duty of care, control, protection, and
reasonable discipline of the child;
(2) the duty to support the child, including providing
the child with clothing, food, shelter, and medical and dental care
not involving an invasive procedure;
(3) the right to consent for the child to medical and
dental care not involving an invasive procedure; and
(4) the right to direct the moral and religious training of
the child.

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 20, § 1, eff. April 20, 1995.
Amended by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 751, § 30, eff. Sept. 1,
1995; Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 1036, § 7, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.

§ 153.075. DUTIES OF PARENT NOT APPOINTED
CONSERVATOR. The court may order a parent not appointed as a
managing or a possessory conservator to perform other parental
duties, including paying child support.

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 20, § 1, eff. April 20, 1995.

§ 153.076. DUTY TO PROVIDE INFORMATION. (a) The court
shall order that each conservator of a child has a duty to inform
the other conservator of the child in a timely manner of significant
information concerning the health, education, and welfare of the
child.
(b) The court shall order that each conservator of a child
has the duty to inform the other conservator of the child if the
conservator resides with for at least 30 days, marries, or intends
to marry a person who the conservator knows:
(1) is registered as a sex offender under Chapter 62,
Code of Criminal Procedure; or
(2) is currently charged with an offense for which on
conviction the person would be required to register under that
chapter.
(c) The notice required to be made under Subsection (b) must
be made as soon as practicable but not later than the 40th day after
the date the conservator of the child begins to reside with the
person or the 10th day after the date the marriage occurs, as
appropriate. The notice must include a description of the offense
that is the basis of the person’s requirement to register as a sex
offender or of the offense with which the person is charged.
(d) A conservator commits an offense if the conservator
fails to provide notice in the manner required by Subsections (b)
and (c). An offense under this subsection is a Class C misdemeanor.

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 751, § 31, eff. Sept. 1, 1995.
Amended by Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 330, § 1, eff. Sept. 1,
1999; Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 1036, § 8, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.

SUBCHAPTER C. PARENT APPOINTED AS SOLE OR JOINT MANAGING
CONSERVATOR

§ 153.131. PRESUMPTION THAT PARENT TO BE APPOINTED
MANAGING CONSERVATOR. (a) Subject to the prohibition in Section
153.004, unless the court finds that appointment of the parent or
parents would not be in the best interest of the child because the
appointment would significantly impair the child’s physical health
or emotional development, a parent shall be appointed sole managing
conservator or both parents shall be appointed as joint managing
conservators of the child.
(b) It is a rebuttable presumption that the appointment of
the parents of a child as joint managing conservators is in the best
interest of the child. A finding of a history of family violence
involving the parents of a child removes the presumption under this
subsection.

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 20, § 1, eff. April 20, 1995.
Amended by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 751, § 32, eff. Sept. 1,
1995; Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 1193, § 20, eff. Sept. 1, 1997.

§ 153.132. RIGHTS AND DUTIES OF PARENT APPOINTED SOLE
MANAGING CONSERVATOR. Unless limited by court order, a parent
appointed as sole managing conservator of a child has the rights and
duties provided by Subchapter B and the following exclusive
rights:
(1) the right to designate the primary residence of
the child;
(2) the right to consent to medical, dental, and
surgical treatment involving invasive procedures, and to consent to
psychiatric and psychological treatment;
(3) the right to receive and give receipt for periodic
payments for the support of the child and to hold or disburse these
funds for the benefit of the child;
(4) the right to represent the child in legal action
and to make other decisions of substantial legal significance
concerning the child;
(5) the right to consent to marriage and to enlistment
in the armed forces of the United States;
(6) the right to make decisions concerning the child’s
education;
(7) the right to the services and earnings of the
child; and
(8) except when a guardian of the child’s estate or a
guardian or attorney ad litem has been appointed for the child, the
right to act as an agent of the child in relation to the child’s
estate if the child’s action is required by a state, the United
States, or a foreign government.

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 20, § 1, eff. April 20, 1995.
Amended by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 751, § 33, eff. Sept. 1,
1995; Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 1036, § 9, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.

§ 153.133. AGREEMENT FOR JOINT MANAGING
CONSERVATORSHIP. (a) If a written agreement of the parents is
filed with the court, the court shall render an order appointing the
parents as joint managing conservators only if the agreement:
(1) designates the conservator who has the exclusive
right to designate the primary residence of the child and:
(A) establishes, until modified by further
order, the geographic area within which the conservator shall
maintain the child’s primary residence; or
(B) specifies that the conservator may designate
the child’s primary residence without regard to geographic
location;
(2) specifies the rights and duties of each parent
regarding the child’s physical care, support, and education;
(3) includes provisions to minimize disruption of the
child’s education, daily routine, and association with friends;
(4) allocates between the parents, independently,
jointly, or exclusively, all of the remaining rights and duties of a
parent provided by Chapter 151;
(5) is voluntarily and knowingly made by each parent
and has not been repudiated by either parent at the time the order
is rendered; and
(6) is in the best interest of the child.
(b) The agreement may contain an alternative dispute
resolution procedure that the parties agree to use before
requesting enforcement or modification of the terms and conditions
of the joint conservatorship through litigation, except in an
emergency.

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 20, § 1, eff. April 20, 1995.
Amended by Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 936, § 1, eff. Sept. 1,
1999; Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 1036, § 10, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.

§ 153.134. COURT-ORDERED JOINT
CONSERVATORSHIP. (a) If a written agreement of the parents is not
filed with the court, the court may render an order appointing the
parents joint managing conservators only if the appointment is in
the best interest of the child, considering the following factors:
(1) whether the physical, psychological, or emotional
needs and development of the child will benefit from the
appointment of joint managing conservators;
(2) the ability of the parents to give first priority
to the welfare of the child and reach shared decisions in the
child’s best interest;
(3) whether each parent can encourage and accept a
positive relationship between the child and the other parent;
(4) whether both parents participated in child rearing
before the filing of the suit;
(5) the geographical proximity of the parents’
residences;
(6) if the child is 12 years of age or older, the
child’s preference, if any, regarding the appointment of joint
managing conservators; and
(7) any other relevant factor.
(b) In rendering an order appointing joint managing
conservators, the court shall:
(1) designate the conservator who has the exclusive
right to determine the primary residence of the child and:
(A) establish, until modified by further order, a
geographic area within which the conservator shall maintain the
child’s primary residence; or
(B) specify that the conservator may determine
the child’s primary residence without regard to geographic
location;
(2) specify the rights and duties of each parent
regarding the child’s physical care, support, and education;
(3) include provisions to minimize disruption of the
child’s education, daily routine, and association with friends;
(4) allocate between the parents, independently,
jointly, or exclusively, all of the remaining rights and duties of a
parent as provided by Chapter 151; and
(5) if feasible, recommend that the parties use an
alternative dispute resolution method before requesting
enforcement or modification of the terms and conditions of the
joint conservatorship through litigation, except in an emergency.

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 20, § 1, eff. April 20, 1995.
Amended by Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 936, § 2, eff. Sept. 1,
1999; Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 1036, § 11, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.

§ 153.135. EQUAL POSSESSION NOT REQUIRED. Joint
managing conservatorship does not require the award of equal or
nearly equal periods of physical possession of and access to the
child to each of the joint conservators.

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 20, § 1, eff. April 20, 1995.

§ 153.137. GUIDELINES FOR THE POSSESSION OF CHILD BY
PARENT NAMED AS JOINT MANAGING CONSERVATOR. The standard
possession order provided by Subchapter F constitutes a presumptive
minimum amount of time for possession of a child by a parent named
as a joint managing conservator who is not awarded the exclusive
right to designate the primary residence of the child in a suit.

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 20, § 1, eff. April 20, 1995.
Amended by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 1036, § 12, eff. Sept. 1,
2003.

§ 153.138. CHILD SUPPORT ORDER AFFECTING JOINT
CONSERVATORS. The appointment of joint managing conservators does
not impair or limit the authority of the court to order a joint
managing conservator to pay child support to another joint managing
conservator.

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 20, § 1, eff. April 20, 1995.

SUBCHAPTER D. PARENT APPOINTED AS POSSESSORY CONSERVATOR

§ 153.191. PRESUMPTION THAT PARENT TO BE APPOINTED
POSSESSORY CONSERVATOR. The court shall appoint as a possessory
conservator a parent who is not appointed as a sole or joint
managing conservator unless it finds that the appointment is not in
the best interest of the child and that parental possession or
access would endanger the physical or emotional welfare of the
child.

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 20, § 1, eff. April 20, 1995.

§ 153.192. RIGHTS AND DUTIES OF PARENT APPOINTED
POSSESSORY CONSERVATOR. (a) Unless limited by court order, a
parent appointed as possessory conservator of a child has the
rights and duties provided by Subchapter B and any other right or
duty expressly granted to the possessory conservator in the order.
(b) In ordering the terms and conditions for possession of a
child by a parent appointed possessory conservator, the court shall
be guided by the guidelines in Subchapter E.

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 20, § 1, eff. April 20, 1995.

§ 153.193. MINIMAL RESTRICTION ON PARENT’S POSSESSION OR
ACCESS. The terms of an order that denies possession of a child to
a parent or imposes restrictions or limitations on a parent’s right
to possession of or access to a child may not exceed those that are
required to protect the best interest of the child.

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 20, § 1, eff. April 20, 1995.

SUBCHAPTER E. GUIDELINES FOR THE POSSESSION OF A CHILD BY A PARENT
NAMED AS POSSESSORY CONSERVATOR

§ 153.251. POLICY AND GENERAL APPLICATION OF
GUIDELINES. (a) The guidelines established in the standard
possession order are intended to guide the courts in ordering the
terms and conditions for possession of a child by a parent named as
a possessory conservator or as the minimum possession for a joint
managing conservator.
(b) It is the policy of this state to encourage frequent
contact between a child and each parent for periods of possession
that optimize the development of a close and continuing
relationship between each parent and child.
(c) It is preferable for all children in a family to be
together during periods of possession.
(d) The standard possession order is designed to apply to a
child three years of age or older.

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 20, § 1, eff. April 20, 1995.

§ 153.252. REBUTTABLE PRESUMPTION. In a suit, there is
a rebuttable presumption that the standard possession order in
Subchapter F:
(1) provides reasonable minimum possession of a child
for a parent named as a possessory conservator or joint managing
conservator; and
(2) is in the best interest of the child.

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 20, § 1, eff. April 20, 1995.

§ 153.253. STANDARD POSSESSION ORDER INAPPROPRIATE OR
UNWORKABLE. The court shall render an order that grants periods of
possession of the child as similar as possible to those provided by
the standard possession order if the work schedule or other special
circumstances of the managing conservator, the possessory
conservator, or the child, or the year-round school schedule of the
child, make the standard order unworkable or inappropriate.

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 20, § 1, eff. April 20, 1995.

§ 153.254. CHILD LESS THAN THREE YEARS OF AGE. (a) The
court shall render an order appropriate under the circumstances for
possession of a child less than three years of age.
(b) The court shall render a prospective order to take
effect on the child’s third birthday, which presumptively will be
the standard possession order.

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 20, § 1, eff. April 20, 1995.

§ 153.255. AGREEMENT. The court may render an order for
periods of possession of a child that vary from the standard
possession order based on the agreement of the parties.

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 20, § 1, eff. April 20, 1995.

§ 153.256. FACTORS FOR COURT TO CONSIDER. In ordering
the terms of possession of a child under an order other than a
standard possession order, the court shall be guided by the
guidelines established by the standard possession order and may
consider:
(1) the age, developmental status, circumstances,
needs, and best interest of the child;
(2) the circumstances of the managing conservator and
of the parent named as a possessory conservator; and
(3) any other relevant factor.

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 20, § 1, eff. April 20, 1995.
Amended by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 751, § 35, eff. Sept. 1,
1995.

§ 153.257. MEANS OF TRAVEL. In an order providing for
the terms and conditions of possession of a child, the court may
restrict the means of travel of the child by a legal mode of
transportation only after a showing of good cause contained in the
record and a finding by the court that the restriction is in the
best interest of the child. The court shall specify the duties of
the conservators to provide transportation to and from the
transportation facilities.

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 20, § 1, eff. April 20, 1995.

§ 153.258. REQUEST FOR FINDINGS WHEN ORDER VARIES FROM
STANDARD ORDER. Without regard to Rules 296 through 299, Texas
Rules of Civil Procedure, in all cases in which possession of a
child by a parent is contested and the possession of the child
varies from the standard possession order, on written request made
or filed with the court not later than 10 days after the date of the
hearing or on oral request made in open court during the hearing,
the court shall state in the order the specific reasons for the
variance from the standard order.

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 20, § 1, eff. April 20, 1995.

SUBCHAPTER F. STANDARD POSSESSION ORDER

§ 153.311. MUTUAL AGREEMENT OR SPECIFIED TERMS FOR
POSSESSION. The court shall specify in a standard possession order
that the parties may have possession of the child at times mutually
agreed to in advance by the parties and, in the absence of mutual
agreement, shall have possession of the child under the specified
terms set out in the standard order.

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 20, § 1, eff. April 20, 1995.

§ 153.312. PARENTS WHO RESIDE 100 MILES OR LESS
APART. (a) If the possessory conservator resides 100 miles or
less from the primary residence of the child, the possessory
conservator shall have the right to possession of the child as
follows:
(1) on weekends beginning at 6 p.m. on the first,
third, and fifth Friday of each month and ending at 6 p.m. on the
following Sunday or, at the possessory conservator’s election made
before or at the time of the rendition of the original or
modification order, and as specified in the original or
modification order, beginning at the time the child’s school is
regularly dismissed and ending at 6 p.m. on the following Sunday;
and
(2) on Thursdays of each week during the regular
school term beginning at 6 p.m. and ending at 8 p.m., or, at the
possessory conservator’s election made before or at the time of the
rendition of the original or modification order, and as specified
in the original or modification order, beginning at the time the
child’s school is regularly dismissed and ending at the time the
child’s school resumes, unless the court finds that visitation
under this subdivision is not in the best interest of the child.
(b) The following provisions govern possession of the child
for vacations and certain specific holidays and supersede
conflicting weekend or Wednesday periods of possession. The
possessory conservator and the managing conservator shall have
rights of possession of the child as follows:
(1) the possessory conservator shall have possession
in even-numbered years, beginning at 6 p.m. on the day the child is
dismissed from school for the school’s spring vacation and ending
at 6 p.m. on the day before school resumes after that vacation, and
the managing conservator shall have possession for the same period
in odd-numbered years;
(2) if a possessory conservator:
(A) gives the managing conservator written
notice by April 1 of each year specifying an extended period or
periods of summer possession, the possessory conservator shall have
possession of the child for 30 days beginning not earlier than the
day after the child’s school is dismissed for the summer vacation
and ending not later than seven days before school resumes at the
end of the summer vacation, to be exercised in not more than two
separate periods of at least seven consecutive days each; or
(B) does not give the managing conservator
written notice by April 1 of each year specifying an extended period
or periods of summer possession, the possessory conservator shall
have possession of the child for 30 consecutive days beginning at 6
p.m. on July 1 and ending at 6 p.m. on July 31;
(3) if the managing conservator gives the possessory
conservator written notice by April 15 of each year, the managing
conservator shall have possession of the child on any one weekend
beginning Friday at 6 p.m. and ending at 6 p.m. on the following
Sunday during one period of possession by the possessory
conservator under Subdivision (2), provided that the managing
conservator picks up the child from the possessory conservator and
returns the child to that same place; and
(4) if the managing conservator gives the possessory
conservator written notice by April 15 of each year or gives the
possessory conservator 14 days’ written notice on or after April 16
of each year, the managing conservator may designate one weekend
beginning not earlier than the day after the child’s school is
dismissed for the summer vacation and ending not later than seven
days before school resumes at the end of the summer vacation, during
which an otherwise scheduled weekend period of possession by the
possessory conservator will not take place, provided that the
weekend designated does not interfere with the possessory
conservator’s period or periods of extended summer possession or
with Father’s Day if the possessory conservator is the father of the
child.

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 20, § 1, eff. April 20, 1995.
Amended by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 802, § 1, eff. Sept. 1,
1997; Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 236, § 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1999;
Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 1036, § 13, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.

§ 153.313. PARENTS WHO RESIDE OVER 100 MILES APART. If
the possessory conservator resides more than 100 miles from the
residence of the child, the possessory conservator shall have the
right to possession of the child as follows:
(1) either regular weekend possession beginning on the
first, third, and fifth Friday as provided under the terms
applicable to parents who reside 100 miles or less apart or not more
than one weekend per month of the possessory conservator’s choice
beginning at 6 p.m. on the day school recesses for the weekend and
ending at 6 p.m. on the day before school resumes after the weekend,
provided that the possessory conservator gives the managing
conservator 14 days’ written or telephonic notice preceding a
designated weekend, and provided that the possessory conservator
elects an option for this alternative period of possession by
written notice given to the managing conservator within 90 days
after the parties begin to reside more than 100 miles apart, as
applicable;
(2) each year beginning on the day the child is
dismissed from school for the school’s spring vacation and ending
at 6 p.m. on the day before school resumes after that vacation;
(3) if the possessory conservator:
(A) gives the managing conservator written
notice by April 1 of each year specifying an extended period or
periods of summer possession, the possessory conservator shall have
possession of the child for 42 days beginning not earlier than the
day after the child’s school is dismissed for the summer vacation
and ending not later than seven days before school resumes at the
end of the summer vacation, to be exercised in not more than two
separate periods of at least seven consecutive days each; or
(B) does not give the managing conservator
written notice by April 1 of each year specifying an extended period
or periods of summer possession, the possessory conservator shall
have possession of the child for 42 consecutive days beginning at 6
p.m. on June 15 and ending at 6 p.m. on July 27;
(4) if the managing conservator gives the possessory
conservator written notice by April 15 of each year the managing
conservator shall have possession of the child on one weekend
beginning Friday at 6 p.m. and ending at 6 p.m. on the following
Sunday during one period of possession by the possessory
conservator under Subdivision (3), provided that if a period of
possession by the possessory conservator exceeds 30 days, the
managing conservator may have possession of the child under the
terms of this subdivision on two nonconsecutive weekends during
that time period, and further provided that the managing
conservator picks up the child from the possessory conservator and
returns the child to that same place; and
(5) if the managing conservator gives the possessory
conservator written notice by April 15 of each year, the managing
conservator may designate 21 days beginning not earlier than the
day after the child’s school is dismissed for the summer vacation
and ending not later than seven days before school resumes at the
end of the summer vacation, to be exercised in not more than two
separate periods of at least seven consecutive days each, during
which the possessory conservator may not have possession of the
child, provided that the period or periods so designated do not
interfere with the possessory conservator’s period or periods of
extended summer possession or with Father’s Day if the possessory
conservator is the father of the child.

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 20, § 1, eff. April 20, 1995.
Amended by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 751, § 36, eff. Sept. 1,
1995; Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 236, § 2, eff. Sept. 1, 1999.

§ 153.314. HOLIDAY POSSESSION UNAFFECTED BY DISTANCE
PARENTS RESIDE APART. The following provisions govern possession
of the child for certain specific holidays and supersede
conflicting weekend or Thursday periods of possession without
regard to the distance the parents reside apart. The possessory
conservator and the managing conservator shall have rights of
possession of the child as follows:
(1) the possessory conservator shall have possession
of the child in even-numbered years beginning at 6 p.m. on the day
the child is dismissed from school for the Christmas school
vacation and ending at noon on December 26, and the managing
conservator shall have possession for the same period in
odd-numbered years;
(2) the possessory conservator shall have possession
of the child in odd-numbered years beginning at noon on December 26
and ending at 6 p.m. on the day before school resumes after that
vacation, and the managing conservator shall have possession for
the same period in even-numbered years;
(3) the possessory conservator shall have possession
of the child in odd-numbered years, beginning at 6 p.m. on the day
the child is dismissed from school before Thanksgiving and ending
at 6 p.m. on the following Sunday, and the managing conservator
shall have possession for the same period in even-numbered years;
(4) the parent not otherwise entitled under this
standard order to present possession of a child on the child’s
birthday shall have possession of the child beginning at 6 p.m. and
ending at 8 p.m. on that day, provided that the parent picks up the
child from the residence of the conservator entitled to possession
and returns the child to that same place;
(5) if a conservator, the father shall have possession
of the child beginning at 6 p.m. on the Friday preceding Father’s
Day and ending on Father’s Day at 6 p.m., provided that, if he is not
otherwise entitled under this standard order to present possession
of the child, he picks up the child from the residence of the
conservator entitled to possession and returns the child to that
same place; and
(6) if a conservator, the mother shall have possession
of the child beginning at 6 p.m. on the Friday preceding Mother’s
Day and ending on Mother’s Day at 6 p.m., provided that, if she is
not otherwise entitled under this standard order to present
possession of the child, she picks up the child from the residence
of the conservator entitled to possession and returns the child to
that same place.

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 20, § 1, eff. April 20, 1995.
Amended by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 1036, § 14, eff. Sept. 1,
2003.

§ 153.315. WEEKEND POSSESSION EXTENDED BY
HOLIDAY. (a) If a weekend period of possession of the possessory
conservator coincides with a school holiday during the regular
school term or with a federal, state, or local holiday during the
summer months in which school is not in session, the weekend
possession shall end at 6 p.m. on a Monday holiday or school holiday
or shall begin at 6 p.m. Thursday for a Friday holiday or school
holiday, as applicable.
(b) At the possessory conservator’s election, made before
or at the time of the rendition of the original or modification
order, and as specified in the original or modification order,
periods of possession extended by a holiday may begin at the time
the child’s school is regularly dismissed.

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 20, § 1, eff. April 20, 1995.

§ 153.316. GENERAL TERMS AND CONDITIONS. The court
shall order the following general terms and conditions of
possession of a child to apply without regard to the distance
between the residence of a parent and the child:
(1) the managing conservator shall surrender the child
to the possessory conservator at the beginning of each period of the
possessory conservator’s possession at the residence of the
managing conservator;
(2) if the possessory conservator elects to begin a
period of possession at the time the child’s school is regularly
dismissed, the managing conservator shall surrender the child to
the possessory conservator at the beginning of each period of
possession at the school in which the child is enrolled;
(3) the possessory conservator shall be ordered to do
one of the following:
(A) the possessory conservator shall surrender
the child to the managing conservator at the end of each period of
possession at the residence of the possessory conservator; or
(B) the possessory conservator shall return the
child to the residence of the managing conservator at the end of
each period of possession, except that the order shall provide that
the possessory conservator shall surrender the child to the
managing conservator at the end of each period of possession at the
residence of the possessory conservator if:
(i) at the time the original order or a
modification of an order establishing terms and conditions of
possession or access the possessory conservator and the managing
conservator lived in the same county, the possessory conservator’s
county of residence remains the same after the rendition of the
order, and the managing conservator’s county of residence changes,
effective on the date of the change of residence by the managing
conservator; or
(ii) the possessory conservator and
managing conservator lived in the same residence at any time during
a six-month period preceding the date on which a suit for
dissolution of the marriage was filed and the possessory
conservator’s county of residence remains the same and the managing
conservator’s county of residence changes after they no longer live
in the same residence, effective on the date the order is rendered;
(4) if the possessory conservator elects to end a
period of possession at the time the child’s school resumes, the
possessory conservator shall surrender the child to the managing
conservator at the end of each period of possession at the school in
which the child is enrolled;
(5) each conservator shall return with the child the
personal effects that the child brought at the beginning of the
period of possession;
(6) either parent may designate a competent adult to
pick up and return the child, as applicable; a parent or a
designated competent adult shall be present when the child is
picked up or returned;
(7) a parent shall give notice to the person in
possession of the child on each occasion that the parent will be
unable to exercise that parent’s right of possession for a
specified period;
(8) written notice shall be deemed to have been timely
made if received or postmarked before or at the time that notice is
due; and
(9) if a conservator’s time of possession of a child
ends at the time school resumes and for any reason the child is not
or will not be returned to school, the conservator in possession of
the child shall immediately notify the school and the other
conservator that the child will not be or has not been returned to
school.

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 20, § 1, eff. April 20, 1995.
Amended by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 751, § 37, eff. Sept. 1,
1995; Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 9, § 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1997.

§ 153.317. ALTERNATIVE POSSESSION TIMES. If a child is
enrolled in school and the possessory conservator elects before or
at the time of the rendition of the original or modification order,
the standard order must expressly provide that the possessory
conservator’s period of possession shall begin or end, or both, at a
different time expressly set in the standard order under and within
the range of alternative times provided by one or both of the
following subdivisions:
(1) instead of a period of possession by a possessory
conservator beginning at 6 p.m. on the day school recesses, the
period of possession may be set in the standard possession order to
begin at the time the child’s school is regularly dismissed or at
any time between the time the child’s school is regularly dismissed
and 6 p.m.; and
(2) except for Thursday evening possession, instead of
a period of possession by a possessory conservator ending at 6 p.m.
on the day before school resumes, the period of possession may be
set in the standard order to end at the time school resumes.

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 20, § 1, eff. April 20, 1995.
Amended by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 9, § 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1997;
Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 1036, § 15, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.

SUBCHAPTER G. APPOINTMENT OF NONPARENT AS CONSERVATOR

§ 153.371. RIGHTS AND DUTIES OF NONPARENT APPOINTED AS
SOLE MANAGING CONSERVATOR. Unless limited by court order or other
provisions of this chapter, a nonparent, licensed child-placing
agency, or authorized agency appointed as a managing conservator of
the child has the following rights and duties:
(1) the right to have physical possession and to
direct the moral and religious training of the child;
(2) the duty of care, control, protection, and
reasonable discipline of the child;
(3) the duty to provide the child with clothing, food,
shelter, education, and medical, psychological, and dental care;
(4) the right to consent for the child to medical,
psychiatric, psychological, dental, and surgical treatment and to
have access to the child’s medical records;
(5) the right to receive and give receipt for payments
for the support of the child and to hold or disburse funds for the
benefit of the child;
(6) the right to the services and earnings of the
child;
(7) the right to consent to marriage and to enlistment
in the armed forces of the United States;
(8) the right to represent the child in legal action
and to make other decisions of substantial legal significance
concerning the child;
(9) except when a guardian of the child’s estate or a
guardian or attorney ad litem has been appointed for the child, the
right to act as an agent of the child in relation to the child’s
estate if the child’s action is required by a state, the United
States, or a foreign government;
(10) the right to designate the primary residence of
the child and to make decisions regarding the child’s education;
and
(11) if the parent-child relationship has been
terminated with respect to the parents, or only living parent, or if
there is no living parent, the right to consent to the adoption of
the child and to make any other decision concerning the child that a
parent could make.

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 20, § 1, eff. April 20, 1995.
Amended by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 751, § 34, eff. Sept. 1,
1995; Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 949, § 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1999;
Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 1036, § 16, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.

§ 153.372. NONPARENT APPOINTED AS JOINT MANAGING
CONSERVATOR. (a) A nonparent, authorized agency, or licensed
child-placing agency appointed as a joint managing conservator may
serve in that capacity with either another nonparent or with a
parent of the child.
(b) The procedural and substantive standards regarding an
agreed or court-ordered joint managing conservatorship provided by
Subchapter C apply to a nonparent joint managing conservator.

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 20, § 1, eff. April 20, 1995.

§ 153.3721. ACCESS TO CERTAIN RECORDS BY NONPARENT JOINT
MANAGING CONSERVATOR. Unless limited by court order or other
provisions of this chapter, a nonparent joint managing conservator
has the right of access to the medical records of the child, without
regard to whether the right is specified in the order.

Added by Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 949, § 2, eff. Sept. 1, 1999.

§ 153.373. VOLUNTARY SURRENDER OF POSSESSION REBUTS
PARENTAL PRESUMPTION. The presumption that a parent should be
appointed or retained as managing conservator of the child is
rebutted if the court finds that:
(1) the parent has voluntarily relinquished actual
care, control, and possession of the child to a nonparent, licensed
child-placing agency, or authorized agency for a period of one year
or more, a portion of which was within 90 days preceding the date of
intervention in or filing of the suit; and
(2) the appointment of the nonparent or agency as
managing conservator is in the best interest of the child.

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 20, § 1, eff. April 20, 1995.

§ 153.374. DESIGNATION OF MANAGING CONSERVATOR IN
AFFIDAVIT OF RELINQUISHMENT. (a) A parent may designate a
competent person, authorized agency, or licensed child-placing
agency to serve as managing conservator of the child in an unrevoked
or irrevocable affidavit of relinquishment of parental rights
executed as provided by Chapter 161.
(b) The person or agency designated to serve as managing
conservator shall be appointed managing conservator unless the
court finds that the appointment would not be in the best interest
of the child.

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 20, § 1, eff. April 20, 1995.
Amended by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 751, § 38, eff. Sept. 1,
1995.

§ 153.375. ANNUAL REPORT BY NONPARENT MANAGING
CONSERVATOR. (a) A nonparent appointed as a managing conservator
of a child shall each 12 months after the appointment file with the
court a report of facts concerning the child’s welfare, including
the child’s whereabouts and physical condition.
(b) The report may not be admitted in evidence in a
subsequent suit.

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 20, § 1, eff. April 20, 1995.

§ 153.376. RIGHTS AND DUTIES OF NONPARENT POSSESSORY
CONSERVATOR. (a) Unless limited by court order or other
provisions of this chapter, a nonparent, licensed child-placing
agency, or authorized agency appointed as a possessory conservator
has the following rights and duties during the period of
possession:
(1) the duty of care, control, protection, and
reasonable discipline of the child;
(2) the duty to provide the child with clothing, food,
and shelter; and
(3) the right to consent to medical, dental, and
surgical treatment during an emergency involving an immediate
danger to the health and safety of the child.
(b) A nonparent possessory conservator has any other right
or duty specified in the order.

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 20, § 1, eff. April 20, 1995.

§ 153.377. ACCESS TO CHILD’S RECORDS. A nonparent
possessory conservator has the right of access to medical, dental,
psychological, and educational records of the child to the same
extent as the managing conservator, without regard to whether the
right is specified in the order.

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 20, § 1, eff. April 20, 1995.

SUBCHAPTER H. RIGHTS OF GRANDPARENT

§ 153.431. GRANDPARENTAL APPOINTMENT AS MANAGING
CONSERVATORS. If the parents are deceased, the grandparents may be
considered for appointment as managing conservators, but
consideration does not alter or diminish the discretionary power of
the court.

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 20, § 1, eff. April 20, 1995.

§ 153.432. SUIT FOR ACCESS. (a) A biological or
adoptive grandparent may request access to a grandchild by filing:
(1) an original suit; or
(2) a suit for modification as provided by Chapter
156.
(b) A grandparent may request access to a grandchild in a
suit filed for the sole purpose of requesting the relief, without
regard to whether the appointment of a managing conservator is an
issue in the suit.

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 20, § 1, eff. April 20, 1995.

§ 153.433. POSSESSION OF AND ACCESS TO GRANDCHILD. The
court shall order reasonable access to a grandchild by a
grandparent if:
(1) at the time the relief is requested, at least one
biological or adoptive parent of the child has not had that parent’s
parental rights terminated; and
(2) access is in the best interest of the child, and at
least one of the following facts is present:
(A) the grandparent requesting access to the
child is a parent of a parent of the child and that parent of the
child has been incarcerated in jail or prison during the
three-month period preceding the filing of the petition or has been
found by a court to be incompetent or is dead;
(B) the parents of the child are divorced or have
been living apart for the three-month period preceding the filing
of the petition or a suit for the dissolution of the parents’
marriage is pending;
(C) the child has been abused or neglected by a
parent of the child;
(D) the child has been adjudicated to be a child
in need of supervision or a delinquent child under Title 3;
(E) the grandparent requesting access to the
child is the parent of a person whose parent-child relationship
with the child has been terminated by court order; or
(F) the child has resided with the grandparent
requesting access to the child for at least six months within the
24-month period preceding the filing of the petition.

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 20, § 1, eff. April 20, 1995.
Amended by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 1397, § 1, eff. Sept. 1,
1997.

§ 153.434. LIMITATION ON RIGHT TO REQUEST ACCESS. A
biological or adoptive grandparent may not request possession of or
access to a grandchild if:
(1) each of the biological parents of the grandchild
has:
(A) died;
(B) had the person’s parental rights terminated;
or
(C) executed an affidavit of waiver of interest
in child or an affidavit of relinquishment of parental rights under
Chapter 161 and the affidavit designates an authorized agency,
licensed child-placing agency, or person other than the child’s
stepparent as the managing conservator of the child; and
(2) the grandchild has been adopted, or is the subject
of a pending suit for adoption, by a person other than the child’s
stepparent.

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 20, § 1, eff. April 20, 1995.
Amended by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 561, § 4, eff. Sept. 1,
1997; Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 1390, § 13, eff. Sept. 1, 1999.

SUBCHAPTER I. PREVENTION OF INTERNATIONAL PARENTAL CHILD ABDUCTION

§ 153.501. NECESSITY OF MEASURES TO PREVENT
INTERNATIONAL PARENTAL CHILD ABDUCTION. (a) In a suit, if
credible evidence is presented to the court indicating a potential
risk of the international abduction of a child by a parent of the
child, the court, on its own motion or at the request of a party to
the suit, shall determine under this section whether it is
necessary for the court to take one or more of the measures
described by Section 153.503 to protect the child from the risk of
abduction by the parent.
(b) In determining whether to take any of the measures
described by Section 153.503, the court shall consider:
(1) the public policies of this state described by
Section 153.001(a) and the consideration of the best interest of
the child under Section 153.002;
(2) the risk of international abduction of the child
by a parent of the child based on the court’s evaluation of the risk
factors described by Section 153.502;
(3) any obstacles to locating, recovering, and
returning the child if the child is abducted to a foreign country;
and
(4) the potential physical or psychological harm to
the child if the child is abducted to a foreign country.

Added by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 612, § 1, eff. June 20, 2003.

§ 153.502. ABDUCTION RISK FACTORS. (a) To determine
whether there is a risk of the international abduction of a child by
a parent of the child, the court shall consider evidence that the
parent:
(1) has taken, enticed away, kept, withheld, or
concealed a child in violation of another person’s right of
possession of or access to the child, unless the parent presents
evidence that the parent believed in good faith that the parent’s
conduct was necessary to avoid imminent harm to the child;
(2) has previously threatened to take, entice away,
keep, withhold, or conceal a child in violation of another person’s
right of possession of or access to the child;
(3) lacks financial reason to stay in the United
States, including evidence that the parent is financially
independent, is able to work outside of the United States, or is
unemployed;
(4) has recently engaged in planning activities that
could facilitate the removal of the child from the United States by
the parent, including:
(A) quitting a job;
(B) selling a primary residence;
(C) terminating a lease;
(D) closing bank accounts;
(E) liquidating other assets;
(F) hiding or destroying documents;
(G) applying for a passport or visa for the
parent or the child; or
(H) applying to obtain the child’s birth
certificate or school or medical records;
(5) has a history of domestic violence that the court
is required to consider under Section 153.004; or
(6) has a criminal history or a history of violating
court orders.
(b) If the court finds that there is credible evidence of a
risk of abduction of the child by a parent of the child based on the
court’s consideration of the factors in Subsection (a), the court
shall also consider evidence regarding the following factors to
evaluate the risk of international abduction of the child by a
parent:
(1) whether the parent has strong familial, emotional,
or cultural ties to another country, particularly a country that is
not a signatory to or compliant with the Hague Convention on the
Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction; and
(2) whether the parent lacks strong ties to the United
States, regardless of whether the parent is a citizen or permanent
resident of the United States.
(c) If the court finds that there is credible evidence of a
risk of abduction of the child by a parent of the child based on the
court’s consideration of the factors in Subsection (a), the court
may also consider evidence regarding the following factors to
evaluate the risk of international abduction of the child by a
parent:
(1) whether the parent is undergoing a change in
status with the United States Immigration and Naturalization
Service that would adversely affect that parent’s ability to
legally remain in the United States;
(2) whether the parent’s application for United States
citizenship has been denied by the United States Immigration and
Naturalization Service;
(3) whether the parent has forged or presented
misleading or false evidence to obtain a visa, a passport, a social
security card, or any other identification card or has made any
misrepresentation to the United States government; or
(4) whether the foreign country to which the parent
has ties:
(A) presents obstacles to the recovery and return
of a child who is abducted to the country from the United States;
(B) has any legal mechanisms for immediately and
effectively enforcing an order regarding the possession of or
access to the child issued by this state;
(C) has local laws or practices that would:
(i) enable the parent to prevent the child’s
other parent from contacting the child without due cause;
(ii) restrict the child’s other parent from
freely traveling to or exiting from the country because of that
parent’s gender, nationality, or religion; or
(iii) restrict the child’s ability to
legally leave the country after the child reaches the age of
majority because of the child’s gender, nationality, or religion;
(D) is included by the United States Department
of State on a list of state sponsors of terrorism;
(E) is a country for which the United States
Department of State has issued a travel warning to United States
citizens regarding travel to the country;
(F) has an embassy of the United States in the
country;
(G) is engaged in any active military action or
war, including a civil war;
(H) is a party to and compliant with the Hague
Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction
according to the most recent report on compliance issued by the
United States Department of State;
(I) provides for the extradition of a parental
abductor and the return of the child to the United States; or
(J) poses a risk that the child’s physical health
or safety would be endangered in the country because of specific
circumstances relating to the child or because of human rights
violations committed against children, including arranged
marriages, lack of freedom of religion, child labor, lack of child
abuse laws, female genital mutilation, and any form of slavery.

Added by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 612, § 1, eff. June 20, 2003.

§ 153.503. ABDUCTION PREVENTION MEASURES. If the court
finds that it is necessary under Section 153.501 to take measures to
protect a child from international abduction by a parent of the
child, the court may take any of the following actions:
(1) appoint a person other than the parent of the child
who presents a risk of abducting the child as the sole managing
conservator of the child;
(2) require supervised visitation of the parent by a
visitation center or independent organization until the court finds
under Section 153.501 that supervised visitation is no longer
necessary;
(3) enjoin the parent or any person acting on the
parent’s behalf from:
(A) disrupting or removing the child from the
school or child-care facility in which the child is enrolled; or
(B) approaching the child at any location other
than a site designated for supervised visitation;
(4) order passport and travel controls, including
controls that:
(A) prohibit the parent and any person acting on
the parent’s behalf from removing the child from this state or the
United States;
(B) require the parent to surrender any passport
issued in the child’s name, including any passport issued in the
name of both the parent and the child; and
(C) prohibit the parent from applying on behalf
of the child for a new or replacement passport or international
travel visa;
(5) require the parent to provide:
(A) to the United States Department of State’s
Office of Children’s Issues and the relevant foreign consulate or
embassy:
(i) written notice of the court-ordered
passport and travel restrictions for the child; and
(ii) a properly authenticated copy of the
court order detailing the restrictions and documentation of the
parent’s agreement to the restrictions; and
(B) to the court proof of receipt of the written
notice required by Paragraph (A)(i) by the United States Department
of State’s Office of Children’s Issues and the relevant foreign
consulate or embassy;
(6) order the parent to execute a bond or deposit
security in an amount sufficient to offset the cost of recovering
the child if the child is abducted by the parent to a foreign
country;
(7) authorize the appropriate law enforcement
agencies to take measures to prevent the abduction of the child by
the parent; or
(8) include in the court’s order provisions:
(A) identifying the United States as the country
of habitual residence of the child;
(B) defining the basis for the court’s exercise
of jurisdiction; and
(C) stating that a party’s violation of the order
may subject the party to a civil penalty or criminal penalty or to
both civil and criminal penalties.

Added by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 612, § 1, eff. June 20, 2003.