The Supreme Court of Texas has unanimously upheld the constitutional rights of fit parents after siding with the biological father of a 5-year-old girl. The ruling reverses a Denton County trial court judge’s order that had granted partial custody to the fiancé of the child’s deceased mother and directs the lower court to vacate its order.
The closely watched case has garnered national attention because of the lower court’s ruling that granted partial custody to a non-parent and because of its important constitutional implications for other parents in the state. Texas law allows a non-relative who has lived in a child’s primary home for at least six months to seek custody.
“The ruling by the Supreme Court of Texas is a huge win for all parents in Texas,” said Holly Draper of The Draper Law Firm, lead counsel on the case. “In finding that the trial court judge violated the father’s constitutional rights when she awarded partial custody to a non-parent over the father’s objections, the court has confirmed that the due process clause of the 14th Amendment protects the rights of a fit parent to parent a child without government interference.”
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