Effective on September 1, 2021, the Texas Family Code has a new statute that requires the department (aka, "CPS") to give a preference to certain persons when making a placement decision for a child. Here it is:
Now, this isn't exactly "new". The fact that it is now in the Texas Family Code is new; however, this prioritization list is the method that CPS has been operating off of for years. CPS has their own policies that they must follow in addition the statutes in the Texas Family Code. CPS has always prioritized placements in this regard. Still, there is a bit of ambiguity here (just like there always has been). What does "long-standing and significant relationship"? What if the "foster home" has had the child longer than any other "significant relationship"? What degree of blood relation is sufficient to say someone is "related to the child by blood"?
Also, it is worth noting that this placement preference is not binding on the Court. The statute says that only "the department shall give preference." Just as before, Texas Judges have the ultimate discretion to go against this prioritization based on a finding of what is in the child's "best interest."
Family law can be complicated.
This blog contains some of the most common questions that our family law attorneys receive. Search or click below to learn more about common family law issues regarding divorce, child custody, adoption, and CPS.
- Foster Parents may Intervene Prior to Twelve Months Under Certain Circumstances
- New Changes to CPS Statutes Effective 09/01/2021: Prioritization of Placement Decisions
- New Change to Child Support Effective 09/01/2021: Reduction in Support Requirements for Low-Income Earners
- What is a common law marriage in Texas?
- Can I be ordered to pay my spouse alimony (spousal maintenance)?
- Is my premarital agreement enforceable?
- What are "Initial Disclosures"?
- Should my spouse and I use the same lawyer for our divorce?
- What is Collaborative Family Law?
- Who has more power over a CPS case: The judge or CPS?