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Custody/Visitation/CS in Texas

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What is the name of your state? Texas

I am a single mother to a 6 year old. His father and I were never married and have not been together since my son was born. His name is on the birth certificate and my son has his last name. He has chosen not to file for custody, and I have chosen not to file for CS. I have absolutely no desire to see him (he was abusive, but am willing to set up supervised visitation and CS. I don't want to keep my son from seing his father, but I would like to get full legal custody so that he couldn't take my son away. I would also like to change his last name to mine (he uses it as school anyways). What is the easiest way to acomplish all of this? If I file for CS through the Atty General, will they also set up visitation and custody?



In Texas, the Attorney General WILL NOT decide custody or visitation, as they only represent the State. They will establish paternity, if needed, and will establish a support order thru the courts.

One word of advice from someone who knows: Do not rely on letters sent by mail to advise you of court dates. Make it a point to call your local office every so often to see if you are scheduled to appear in court. Your ex will be served with the order to appear but you may not, and if you are not present the case will be dropped.

One more thing: When I filed in 1999, it took over 1 year to have the ex served and a court date set. If you are on public assistance, it may go a lot faster.


My case for my ex is currently through the AG's office in Texas. It took FIVE years before we got to court. Southernpony is correct that the AG's office doesn't deal with custody or visitation. You will need to file for that on your own or with a lawyer. Has he seen the child on a regular basis? That will make a difference in what kind of custody arrangements are made by the courts.

As far as the name change if dad fight's it you may be out of luck. If you are enrolling him under a different name dad can complain about that as well. The father has a right for his child to carry his last name. You will have to prove that it is in the best interest of the child to change his last name.

You really should consult a lawyer about this. As I stated on another thread when there are no legal papers regarding custody and visits each parent is presumed to have the same equal right to the child. Now once you file for custody support and visits, don't think that his rights will diminish. Texas doesn't usually do sole managing conservatorship for children your son's age. Which is what you are asking for by wanting full legal custody of your son.

Texas likes to do joint legal with one parent having primary for residency purposes. Unless he has a record of abusive behavior as in convictions and arrests just your claiming he was abusive is not going to be enough to avoid unsupervised visits. You could probably get supervised vists for 6 months or so if its been quite a while since he last saw his son, but it's going to depend on his record and what he asks the court for.

Take southernpony's advice about calling the AG's office to see about scheduled dates. That has happened to me before. I just happened to call about another matter in the case and the person I spoke to just happened to mention the court date. I was totally unaware that they had us on the dockett again. They claimed to have mailed a letter but I never got it!

Good luck to you!

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