Standing for the children
The situation is typical--You know a child, maybe your own grandchild or a child who has lived with you, and based on your observations, you are concerned about him or her and the current situation. You want what is best for the child, and you want to help. The parent is either not around or is not listening, not willing to do what is right. But who is able to initiate a lawsuit regarding a child in Texas? This idea as to the authority to bring a suit is called ‘standing' and is necessary prior to starting such a case. The first statutes in Texas dealing with standing to bring a suit were very non- restrictive, and allowed ‘any person with an interest in the child', and if there was abuse or neglect, ‘any adult'.
However, over the years, the Family Code has made standing much more restricted. The primary two sections now are Texas Family Code 102.003 and 102.004. There you find the list that includes who you would expect: a parent and certain governmental entities. It also includes an individual with whom the child has resided for 6 months. Grandparents (and other close relatives as defined) have further ability, if the child is proved to be in danger, to file a suit.
But what about you? If you are seeing a child in difficulty, and you feel a need to help, can you do that legally--do you have the authority to bring suit?
Before you talk to an attorney, educate yourself by reading the statutes noted above (links below).
If, after your review, you wish and need to proceed, I am happy to discuss your case and how I can help you with it.