Suit for Sibling Access – In certain circumstances, a situation may arise where an older sibling requests to gain access to, or custody of, a younger sibling. We have written at great length about conservatorship suits, so this blog will strictly stick to suits for sibling access.
For a review of conservatorship suits, go here http://bit.ly/2h0ke9R.
Unlike a conservatorship suit, a suit for access means a person is simply asking to gain access to a child – with “access” meaning they can approach, communicate with, and visit with the child.
A person with access cannot possess or control the child like a parent or conservator can.
For more on the differences between possession and access, go here http://bit.ly/2gU8k2B.
You would think suits for sibling access can only be granted to siblings who are at least 18 years old. But in 2015, the Texas Legislature expanded standing in suits for sibling access to include siblings of any age. In fact, the Texas Family Code now gives standing to a sibling of a child who is separated from the child as a result of an action by the Department of Family and Protective Services, regardless of the sibling’s age.
To obtain access, the petitioner must prove all of the following:
- Sibling relationship
- Petitioner’s age (see above adjustment)
- Separation from child
- DFPS action
- Best interest of the child
If all above requirements are met, a court must order reasonable access to a child to the sibling. There are also terms and conditions for such access, including methods of communication, dates and times, locations, and lengths of visits.
Was this blog helpful? If you have additional questions on this or any other topic we have discussed in the past, please give our knowledgeable staff at Nelson Law Group, PC a call. Our staff is always available.