MILESTONE PARENTAL RIGHTS CASE FOR TEXAS FATHER
Setting a major precedent for future parental rights cases in Texas, the state Supreme Court on Friday awarded a father full custody of his 5-year-old daughter, reversing a district court’s decision to give joint custody to a man who’s unrelated to the child.
The Texas Supreme Court “reaffirmed the longstanding constitutional rules that parents are presumed to be fit and that the actions of fit parents are presumed to be in the best interests of their children,” said Texas Home School Coalition, the group that supported the biological father, identified as Chris, who was awarded full custody of his daughter, Ann.
Ann’s mother had died in a car accident two years earlier. Shortly after her death, the man that Ann’s mother had been dating and was briefly engaged to at the time sued Chris for custody of the child. . . .
Texas’ Supreme Court overturned the lower court’s ruling, “and squarely rejected the unrelated man’s argument that the law does not presume that Chris has a right to raise Ann,” the Texas Home School Coalition said. . . .
Editor’s Note: He also said, “My daughter doesn’t know him. She lived with him cumulatively under six months. I thought that as the biological father, I [should] win. We learned quickly, that is not the case.”
National parental rights activists have paid close attention to the case centered around the basic question: Should a fit father be forced to share custody of his daughter with an unrelated man? . . .
In July 2019, Chris had filed an emergency appeal to the Fort Worth Court of Appeals to strike down the lower court’s ruling on grounds that it violated his constitutional rights as a parent. However, his request was denied.
“So the argument being made is that because [the fiancé] cohabitated with the daughter for between five and six months, cumulatively, that he developed a strong enough relationship with her that he should be entitled to custody of her,” Jeremy Newman, the Texas group’s director of public policy, told The Christian Post at the time. . .
Initially, after the mother’s death, the maternal grandparents filed for joint custody of their grandchild in July 2018. The mother’s fiancé also filed for joint custody a month later.
The grandparents’ request for joint custody was denied in court because they were unable to prove that the father was an unfit parent. However, the trial court had granted the fiancé joint custody of Ann on May 8, 2019.
(Excerpt from The Christian Post. Written by Anugrah Kumar, Christian Post Contributor.)
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