Family courts in San Antonio typically make keeping families together the main focus of their proceedings. However, there may be situations where state officials are called in to remove children from a home in order to ensure their safety. Such action may be accompanied by either instructions issued by the court to parents detailing steps that must be taken in order for them to reclaim custody, or a termination of one’s parental rights altogether. In either case, one question remains after children are taken into state custody: who supports them?
According to information shared by the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services, there were 8,736 children in FPR custody in Bexar County in 2016, comprising a large portion of the 12,028 children in FPR in the San Antonio region overall. Typically, a child will only be removed it he or she is believed to be living in an unsafe environment. Conditions contributing to such an environment may include:
- Exposure to illegal drug use
- A lack of sufficient food or medical care
- Physical violence between family members
- Allegations of sexual abuse
- Failure to keep firearms safely stored
The Texas Family Code states that in cases where the state as assumed custody of a child, the parents must still continue to support him or her (provided that they are financially able) up until the child is adopted, graduates from high school, is married, reaches the age of 18 or passes away. In cases where a state agency has been named as either a child’s permanent or temporary managing conservator, and his or her parents want to retain their parental rights, the court may also order periodic support payments until custody has been restored.