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Texas law looks to do right by children with array of care models

Someone who has never had to deal with the variety of childcare issues that can arise unexpectedly may find themselves feeling as if they are in a foreign land when they step into a Texas family law courtroom. This may be really true for someone coming in from another state.

The legal terms used under Texas law for various matters can differ from what is common elsewhere, and it can leave a newcomer at a disadvantage if they haven't got experienced legal help to count on.

Very often, a grandparent might feel called upon to step up for the sake of a grandchild, especially if the child's parents have been unable to care for their offspring. This happens a lot as we noted in a previous post.

These well-meaning family members may enter the legal arena expecting to talk about custody and visitation, but what they will find are lawyers and court officials talking about such things as Permanent Managing Conservatorships, Volunteer Care or Kinship Care.

These are some of the different models that the state may use. And while they may go by terms that are unfamiliar to many, the goal of each is the same, to do what's best for the interest of the children.

Kinship Care is the one that grandparents might most identify with. The acknowledgment behind it is the understanding that parents alone don't raise children. The extended family is important, too.

If a child is abused or neglected by parents, the state may remove the child from the toxic environment. And the first thing the courts are required to do is see about temporarily placing the child with a relative. If no relative is in a position to take on the responsibility, a friend might be turned to. As a last resort, the child may be placed in foster care.

Throughout the course of the proceedings the parents' desires are taken into account, but the interests of the child remain paramount. And to protect your rights if you're involved, it's wise to have an attorney at their side.

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