Texas Family Law Needs Amended

Updated: 8-31-2016

Currently, there are multiple issues with the CPS system that are destroying Texas families by the forced removal of children from fit parents. One of the most obvious problems with the CPS system is the non-attendance clause of the family code. This section of the Texas Family Code poses significant threats to home schooling families.

The Problem:

Across the state, numerous judges and courts are opposing homeschooling families and parents. Essentially, the non-attendance section of the family code says that if the parent has caused the child to not attend school, the court can consider that as evidence to support the termination of parental rights. This termination of parental rights is because the court is charging the parent with violating the truancy law. Truancy, or being truant, simply means that the child has a record of not attending school without an excuse or explanation.

Section 161.001 (b) (1) (J) (i) of the Family Code states, “The court may order termination of the parent-child relationship if the court finds by clear and convincing evidence that the parent has been the major cause of the failure of the child to be enrolled in school as required by the Education Code…”

CPS, as well as many judges, use this section of the code to argue that they have the right to investigate the quality of a child’s education; however, the family code only finds fault if the parent has caused the child to not attend school at all. In other words, if the parent causes their child to be truant, CPS can press charges and try to terminate parental rights.

The Solution:

THSC is currently the only advocacy group in Texas that is pushing for CPS reform to defend Texas families. We hope to protect families by passing CPS reform legislation for 2017 with a focus on parental rights and non-attendance. Specifically, this prominent section of the Texas Family Code needs to be amended through new legislation. This action will shield children from the trauma of unnecessary removal from upstanding parents.

5 Things You Can Do:

  1. Follow THSC’s work to stay informed about these issues during the next legislative session.
  2. Be prepared for any action alerts that may be posted when THSC needs home schoolers and parents to help push these parental rights reforms through the legislature.
  3. Let us know if you or someone you know has valuable knowledge or personal experience with regards to this or other CPS related issues that could help THSC in drafting and passing this legislation.
  4. Support THSC’s efforts by donating to support the THSC Watchmen and policy team.
  5. Protect your own family. THSC offers an attorney who specializes in CPS matters as a THSC membership benefit. See how this helped one member family.

Please share this article with other families to continue the fight to Keep Texas Families Free.

*NOTE: 8/31/16 It is legal to home school in Texas due to case law. This section of the statute is sometimes being inappropriately used against homeschool families, which is the issue addressed by THSC.