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March 2019 Archives

The Expanding Rights of Non-Parents

In 2018, the Texas Supreme Court delivered an opinion expanding the rights of non-parents to have standing (the legal right to bring a lawsuit) in certain lawsuits under the Family Code. In the Interest of H.S., a Minor Child, the Court held that a non-parent may have standing under Section 102.003(a)(9) of the Family Code if they are able to show they served in a parent-like role for the requisite six-month period by (1) sharing a principal residence with the child, (2) providing for the child's daily physical and psychological needs, and (3) exercising guidance, governance, and direction similar to that typically exercised on a day-to-day basis by parents with their children. The Supreme Court further explained that a non-parent may have standing, even if the parents have not ceded or relinquished their own parental rights and responsibilities, and maintain legal control of the child.