Suits Affecting Parent Child Relationship (SAPCR)
Suits Affecting Parent Child Relationship (SAPCR) also called paternity actions, are filed when a parent wants to establish legal parentage and rights to a child when there was no legal marriage to the other parent. A SAPCR can also be filed by a non-parent in certain circumstances. In a SAPCR, the timeline is slightly different than it is in a divorce, in that there is no 60 day waiting period. An agreed custody order can be entered on the same day the petition is filed. However, the same factors you encounter in a divorce with children are present in a custody case. A temporary order can be issued, attorneys exchange documents, and mediation is required. Every case is unique, and the facts of each case affect the timeline. Most custody cases take 6 months to 1 year to resolve. Call an Austin SAPCR attorney today to discuss your case.
A SAPCR establishes the legal parents of a child. It can be filed by either parent or a non-parent. Each parent has the right to request paternity (DNA) testing to verify parentage, but the parents may simply agree that they are the biological parents of the child or children. Once the question of paternity has been resolved, the court will make orders for custody, called conservatorship in Texas of the child, a parenting plan for when each parent has time with the child, child support, health insurance, and any other provisions for the child that the court deems to be in the child’s best interests. As with a divorce, SAPCR’s can be agreed to by the parties. Once the petition is filed, the parties may, with the assistance of an attorney or mediator, arrive at an agreement. This agreement would be reduced to writing and signed by the judge. If the parents cannot come to an agreement, the matter can be heard by a judge or a jury to determine custody. Before the final hearing, the court may issue temporary orders regarding support, possession and access to the child. Call an experienced child custody attorney to discuss your case. SAPCR’s can arise from a variety of situations. For example, a couple that cohabited, had a child and then broke up often obtain a SAPCR order to clarify their respective rights to a child. A SAPCR is also appropriate when the parents never cohabited, or even had a relationship. The SAPCR names a child’s legal parents, and contains orders deemed by the court to be in the child’s best interests.
Although marital property is not an issue in a SAPCR, the estate of the child is. Trust funds, college funds, inheritances from either parent are all topics to be addressed in the drafting of a final order by an experienced Austin SAPCR attorney.
Tax concerns are also addressed, as to which parent may claim the tax deduction for the child. At DiafiLaw, an experienced family law attorney can help you obtain an order that puts you on the best possible financial footing for the remainder of the child’s minority.
In determining the correct amount of child support, DiafiLaw will investigate and demand disclosure of all income available to the other parent in order to maximize any child support award to the full extent of the guidelines. Call an Austin Child Support attorney today to find out what appropriate child support would be in your case!