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Disabled children and non-familial conservatorship

A 2007 case out of San Antonio presented facts where mother and father lived together in Florida and had 2 children but were never married.  They separated between 2000 and 2002 and mother moved to Texas with the children.  In early 2005, mother was diagnosed with terminal cancer.  One of the children had Downs Syndrome and he was placed in a residential care facility because he became too much for mother to handle with her illness.

The other child began living with the mother's neighbor.  The mother died in December 2005, and the father tried to take the children back to Florida.  The neighbor refused and the father filed an original SAPCR.  This situation was unique, because it was not as if the father was trying to terminate parental rights.  He just wanted his child to be removed from the neighbor and come with him to Florida.

The neighbor filed a counter petition.  The court maintained the status quo under temporary orders and after final trial appointed the parties joint managing conservators and gave the neighbor the right to establish residency.  The ruling was affirmed on appeal.

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