Non-parents have limited rights in seeking Texas custody or visitation. In some circumstances, however, stepparents actively parent their stepchildren. In a recent case, a stepfather challenged a court order awarding custody of his stepchild to the child’s maternal grandparents after the death of the mother.
Relationship with the Mother
According to the appeals court’s opinion, the mother was pregnant when she started dating and eventually moved in with the stepfather in 2006. The stepfather was present for the child’s birth in 2007 and acted as a father figure to the child. The mother filed an Original Petition in Suit Affecting the Parent-Child Relationship (“SAPCR”) soon after the birth. The stepfather was not a party to the case.
The mother married stepfather in July 2007. The stepfather treated the child as his son and was the only father figure in the child’s life. The mother and stepfather had a biological child together in 2010.