Welch Law Firm, PLLC » Other Family Law Services



“SAPCR” stands for Suit Affecting the Parent Child Relationship and is generally any kind of custody case that is not a divorce. The case may between unmarried parents or when a non-parent files for custody or visitation. Texas law provides who may file these cases and under what circumstances. For example, any person who has had care, control, and possession of a child for more than six months can file a SAPCR or certain relatives of a child may file one when the child’s current circumstances are substantially likely to cause emotional or physical injury.

The experienced Arlington SAPCR (Suit Affecting Parent-Child Relationship) lawyers at the Welch Law Firm help families like yours survive and thrive on multiple levels. Since we are very familiar with all the rules of evidence, procedure, and decorum, we focus all our efforts on your unique case. We tailor our approach to your specific needs. Because of our knowledge, background, and flexibility, we are usually able to achieve results that exceed our clients’ expectations.


Since these two proceedings usually go hand in hand, we’ll discuss them together. A standalone termination of parental rights case is one of the rarest family law matters in Texas. Judges only grant such terminations if there is clear evidence that such an act is in the best interests of the children. Usually, that means severe parental misconduct, such as an aggravated assault domestic violence conviction or severe drug use coupled with something like abandonment.

Legally, children can only have two parents; so, for a new family to adopt the biological parent’s rights must be terminated. In some cases, the termination and adoption is all done as part of one case while other times they handled separately.

Stepparent adoptions are the most common kind of adoption case and can be straightforward when the biological parent is also in agreement. Where there is agreement, the Court only requires a home study be completed prior to finalizing the adoption.

Other adoptions are agency or private adoptions. An adoption agency does most of the work in an agency adoption, including most of the legal work. Some parents use an Arlington SAPCR lawyer as a consultant in these cases. Private adoptions must follow very specific rules. For example, if the adopting family contributes too much money to the birth mother for medical and other expenses, the adoption could constitute human trafficking.


In Texas, signing the birth certificate simply creates an administrative parent-child relationship. Only a paternity action creates a legal parent-child relationship. Neither parent has a superior legal right to the child until there is a court approved agreement or a Court makes orders for custody and visitation of the child. As such, either parent could withhold the child from the other parent until there is a Court order. The police will often simply say it is a civil matter and they cannot get involved. As such, it is critical that where there is any question as to paternity that a legal case is established.

As part of any initial paternity action the Court can order DNA testing of the child and parents to establish paternity. The Court can also order the child’s name changed. Ultimately, paternity action will handled under the same standard as those provide in Suits Affecting the Parent Child Relationship.

There are very specific court rules with respect to establishing paternity and challenging paternity which includes certain time limitations. So if you have any questions regarding paternity it is critical you seek the opinion of an Arlington SAPCR attorney today.

Military Families

In many ways, a military divorce is exactly like any other divorce action. But there are some unique emotional and financial issues.

There are specialized rules for the division of military retirement that require an attorney familiar with those provisions. Moreover, military divorces require an attorney knowledgeable in the areas of Leave and Earning Statements.

When deployment orders come unexpectedly, they could turn a single-parent household upside down. Legally, judges may not consider this possibility when they issue custody and visitation orders but special provisions for deployment can made in the orders.

At the Welch Law Firm, PLLC, we have been honored to represent numerous service members and their families through the years and would welcome the opportunity to let our knowledge serve you.

Grandparent Rights

While Grandparent’s rights in the State of Texas are very limited that doesn’t mean they don’t exist. For example, any time a grandparent or any person has had actual care, control, and possession of a child for more than six months, they may file a case. Grandparents may also file a case for custody where the child’s current environment is substantially likely to cause emotional or physical harm.

A grandparent may also maintain a case for access to the child where they can show that to deny that access would be likely to cause the child emotional or physical harm. We at the Welch Law Firm, PLLC have represented numerous grandparents who successfully obtained custody or visitation rights to their grandchildren.

The changing nature of the American family requires a flexible legal response. For a confidential consultation with an experienced SAPCR lawyer in Arlington, contact the Welch Law Firm PLLC. We routinely handle matters in Tarrant County and nearby jurisdictions.

Bottom line: If you are looking for an experienced family law attorney, contact The Welch Law Firm for representation you can count on. Always free consultations.