SAPCR: Suits Affecting The Parent-Child Relationship

Sometimes children are conceived during tenuous or non-existent relationships, yet legal rights must be established in order to have any real say in the raising of the child.

Raising children can be one of the most exciting and rewarding experiences some adults will ever have. However, when a child is born in the midst of intense arguing between parents, or if there is uncertainty about who the father is, it can also be one of the most frustrating, traumatic and confusing experiences an adult will ever endure.

If you are involved in a Suit Affecting the Parent-Child Relationship (SAPCR), it is crucial to work with an attorney who understands family law, appreciates the courts and fights to protect your parental rights. I am attorney Leonard Roth, and I have been serving families in the Houston area since 1972.

As a family law specialist certified by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization, I have the experience needed to protect your parental rights. Call 713-965-7608 to schedule your appointment.

Who Has Parental Rights?

Many women believe that because they gave birth to a child, they automatically have greater legal rights than the father. This is not necessarily the case. Because both a mother and father contributed in their own way to the conception of the child, both parents may have equal general parental rights. Important rights must be determined by the court or by the parties, and an order must be signed by the court to have enforceable legal rights.

However, the issue is not always so easy, particularly when paternity (parentage) is contested or unknown. In order to determine the identity of both parents and establish their respective parental duties and rights, an original Suit Affecting the Parent-Child Relationship (SAPCR) must be filed.

Once parentage is established, the original SAPCR action can proceed to the court, where conservatorship and other parental rights, such as the awarding of visitation and child support payments, will be established.

Understanding What Is Legally Expected Of Parents

While acquiring parental rights can be a great joy, there are also numerous responsibilities that come with the acquisition. For example, you will be expected to help the child by making regular child support payments. With over four decades of family law experience, I can help you understand the responsibilities that will follow from establishing paternity (parentage) and being granted parental rights.

The responsibility of being a parent is hard enough. The task does not get any easier when the legal system is involved. The courts use a number of acronyms, such as SPO, JMC and SMC, and the law can be extremely confusing. I work closely with my clients through every step of the legal process, taking time to explain the law and their options in each situation.

Collaborative Divorce And Suits Affecting The Parent-Child Relationship (SAPCR)

Without reiterating the information above, other than using what I call the kitchen table settlement where the parties sit down and carefully divide their property, debts and children, collaborative divorce is the only way to come out of a Texas divorce and/or SAPCR case unscathed and not traumatized. And, it has the added value of showing your children a rational way to solve disputes. Importantly, collaborative divorce allows you to maintain and sometimes even strengthen the bridges with your soon-to-be ex-spouse, her family and her friends.

Your mutual friends will not be drawn into the controversy, as there are no witnesses. There is no real point in trying to manipulate your children because they are not an active part of the controversy. They are all spared helping you hang your dirty laundry for all to see and talk about, and embarrass. There are no witnesses in collaborative divorce. There are no hearings in collaborative divorce. There is no immense waste of time at the courthouse (remember that every hour, every minute is billed by your attorney at his/her hourly rate). However, the court must approve and sign off on your parenting plan, so, you will probably not be allowed to create some bizarre plan that would not be in the best interests of the child/children.

Contact me online to discuss your parental rights with a lawyer who fully understands the original Suit Affecting the Parent-Child Relationship (SAPCR) process.