Suit Affecting the Parent-Child Relationship

SAPCR

If you have had a child out of wedlock and need to formalize custody and child support arrangements, you will need an Original SAPCR. If you are divorced and need to make changes to existing arrangements to reflect a change in circumstance, then you will need to file a Suit to Modify a SAPCR.

We offer uncontested and contested SAPCR services - Contact us now for a consultation.

About SAPCRs

What is a "SAPCR"?


A Suit Affecting a Parent-Child Relationship ("SAPCR") is a document that sets out the terms of the child or children's care. It covers: • Visitation • Conservatorship • Healthcare • Child-Support and Day-Care Expenses • Geographic Restrictions • Extracurricular Activities • Passports and Travel • Tax Credits • Rights and Duties Once signed by both conservators and a judge, it becomes a court order and is enforceable.




Will I have to go to court?


It depends. Uncontested SAPCR If both conservators can agree to the terms of the SAPCR without the need for a legal battle, then we can work with you to prepare the legal documents and may attend the final orders hearing on your behalf, if needed. Contested SAPCR​​​​​​​ If you and the other conservator can't agree on the terms of the SAPCR, then you will likely need our legal services for a Contested SAPCR. In this case, you will almost certainly be required to turn up to court for a wide variety of hearings depending on your circumstance.




How much does it cost?


UNCONTESTED SAPCR We offer three Uncontested SAPCR Services that you can choose from at your convenience: DOCUMENTS ONLY
Cost: $500 for up to one (1) hour of legal services.
For clients who just want the legal documents, we will collect all the information needed to complete your SAPCR documents (Petition for SAPCR, Waiver of Service and Final Order). You will be responsible for the filing of the documents and payment of court costs, if any. WALK-UP ONLY
Cost: $500 for up to one (1) hour of legal services. For clients who have already filed but need a walk-up, we attend the court for your final prove up hearing.
FULL SERVICE
Cost: $1000 for up to two (2) hours of legal services. Court Costs will be charged separately. For client who want the full service, we will prepare your SAPCR documents (Petition for SAPCR, Waiver of Service and Final Order), handle the filing process on your behalf and attend the final hearing, if needed. Court Costs will vary depending on the County you are filing in and whether you are opening a new case or modifying an existing case, include e-filing fees. CONTESTED SAPCR Given the unpredictable nature of contested matters, we can't put a fixed price on the amount of legal services you may need. We start with a $3500 retainer for up to seven (7) hours of legal services and offer payment plans to help fit around your personal circumstances.




Will one of us need to pay Child Support?


Your Final Order must show how you and the other conservator intend to look after the best interests of the children.

In all likelihood, one party will be expected to pay child support in an amount equal to the Texas child support guidelines and/or provide health insurance for the child. It is possible to agree to not have child support, but you will need to meet certain conditions – conditions that are subject to change in Texas Law.

Even if you do agree to no child support, it is generally frowned upon by the courts and it is possible for a judge to step in and make amendments to the Final Order at his or her discretion.

You can use the child support calculator on the Attorney General’s website to work out an estimate of how much you are expected to pay in accordance with the guidelines.




Is it true that once a child reaches twelve (12) years old, he or she can choose which parent to live with?


Unless you and the other conservator agree to abide by the child’s wishes then an application will need to be made for the child to confer with a judge. It is worth noting that, in general, the courts tend not to split children up from their siblings absent unique circumstances.





Lauren Carrington Smyth

Managing Partner

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Carrington Smyth PLLC is licensed to practice law in Texas (2005), Washington, D.C. (2006) and England & Wales (2011).

 

Principal Law Office based in San Antonio, Texas

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