The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

Parents must keep up with legalities

Viewpoint by Mona Lisa Tucker/south news editor

Because laws pertaining to parental custody vary in every state, many innocent children and their caretakers are forced to deal with mass confusion and undue suffering.

Texas has a 50/50 law in which both biological parents have equal rights. If something happens to one of them, the other can attend a hearing and most likely get the child.

Even if the child has been living with a grandparent or another family member, that caregiver will be forced to release the child to the parent whether or not that parent has ever seen or cared for the child.

In California, a detailed background check and reunification period is required for a neglectful parent to prove he/she is stable enough to provide for the child. Also, the child is gradually introduced to that person to help alleviate anxiety and distress.

In November 2010, I found myself standing before a Texas judge who ordered me to give my then-18-month-old grandson to a virtual stranger because his name was on the birth certificate.

My daughter had just entered the Army National Guard boot camp and could not attend the hearing.

During her application process, the recruiter said my grandson could not be taken from me because the government trumped state court.

Unfortunately, the recruiter’s information was partially wrong. Therefore, for months, my grandson and my family dealt with much heartache, pain and uncertainty.

Nothing could be done unless someone seriously injured my grandson.

After several court appearances and mediation, the judge gave my daughter and the young man joint custody.

Before deciding to join the military or go on an extended leave from their child, parents should research all the legalities prior to leaving, considering children are little people with big feelings.

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