Schertz, TX asked in Family Law, Child Custody and Child Support for Texas

Q: A 14yr old left alone to parent his 12yr old and 4yr old autistic brother while his physical custodial parent leaves

Them unattended. Recently the 12 year old has been complaining about his mother leaving them alone and making the 14 year old cook and clean for them, alongside taking care of their 6or 7 dogs in their 3 bedroom apartment. She shares a custody agreement with the father who has the 1.3,5 weekends but also shares another child w/ someone else. She will get upset if the other child cannot go & has even held his 2 children with her on HIS weekend & refused to let him pick him up. Is there anything he can do about this? The 2 preteens have been complaining to the dads sidegrandpa, grandma, their dad, aunt & uncle that they don’t want to live with their mom, that she guilt trips them, says she is going to move to Dallas when In their custody agreement she can’t take them out of the county unless their dad agrees &gives permission. The 12 year old wants to know as well if he can call CPS bc he doesn’t feel safe at night when his mom leaves them home alone &doesn’t come back until past 12am

1 Lawyer Answer
Rafee'a S. Majeed
Rafee'a S. Majeed
  • Dallas, TX
  • Licensed in Texas

A: If Father is in a position to take over custody of his children, he should file a Petition to Modify the Parent-Child Relationship in the county that the original court order was issued. This situation certainly sounds like there are circumstances that would significantly impair the physical and emotional well-being of the children that could warrant a Judge changing primary custody of the children to him. He should file this petition sooner rather than later.

Also, if there is a child in this household who is NOT his biological child, he will have no rights over that child.

If any person is seriously concerned about the conditions under which the children are living, they should call CPS and get them involved. That is what they are there for. This includes the 12 year old child who doesn't feel safe. At the very least, if he doesn't feel safe at home when Mother is gone, he should contact the police and have them come out. The police will then call CPS.

I hope this information helps. Good luck to you.

Justia Ask a Lawyer is a forum for consumers to get answers to basic legal questions. Any information sent through Justia Ask a Lawyer is not secure and is done so on a non-confidential basis only.

The use of this website to ask questions or receive answers does not create an attorney–client relationship between you and Justia, or between you and any attorney who receives your information or responds to your questions, nor is it intended to create such a relationship. Additionally, no responses on this forum constitute legal advice, which must be tailored to the specific circumstances of each case. You should not act upon information provided in Justia Ask a Lawyer without seeking professional counsel from an attorney admitted or authorized to practice in your jurisdiction. Justia assumes no responsibility to any person who relies on information contained on or received through this site and disclaims all liability in respect to such information.

Justia cannot guarantee that the information on this website (including any legal information provided by an attorney through this service) is accurate, complete, or up-to-date. While we intend to make every attempt to keep the information on this site current, the owners of and contributors to this site make no claims, promises or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness or adequacy of the information contained in or linked to from this site.