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

Q: If a man is considered a noncustodial parent, what can he do to change that?

My boyfriend's lawyer, while my boyfriend was in prison, said it would be best to sign as noncustodial parent. He is out now, and doing the right things to live a good life and wants to have rights to his daughter again. What steps need to be taken to make this happen? Who can we call? We live in Texas, and the ex-wife and daughter live in California.

1 Lawyer Answer
John Michael Frick
John Michael Frick
  • Divorce Lawyer
  • Frisco, TX
  • Licensed in Texas

A: In order to change the custody arrangement, your boyfriend will need to file a SAPCR ("suit affecting the parent-child relationship") seeking a modification of the current custody arrangement with the court in the county where the child lives in California. While the outcome of every custody case is determined based upon its own facts, the facts that your boyfriend was in prison and lives in a different state than where the child has been living are going to be powerful evidence in favor of his ex-wife and against awarding your boyfriend custody of his daughter. He might want to consider instead simply seeking visitation rights with his daughter first, possibly on a stair-step basis. In cases like this, I often advise clients to first move to new residence closer to where the child lives and to establish a stable job history before seeking a modification of the current court order. An experienced and competent family law attorney in California ought to be consulted by your boyfriend.

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