February 27, 2019
As you may know, the Texas Legislature is in session and THSC’s team is in Austin Keeping Texas Families Free. I often quote an old sage who said, “No man’s freedom or property is safe when the Texas Legislature is in session.” Our first charge to our team in Austin is to make sure that no bill harmful to Texas families becomes law.
However, we are also working to pass a critically important bill to protect families in Texas Family Courts.
We are calling this bill The Family Unity Act because it seeks to update the Texas Family Code with established case law from both the U.S. Supreme Court and the Texas Supreme Court. This case law says that parents have the fundamental right to raise their children and that the state may not overrule the parent simply because it disagrees.
Half of the cases in Texas courts are family law cases. A significant portion of these cases involve children. When a child is involved in the case, the judge is required to make decisions for that child that the judge deems to be in the child’s best interest.
What many people don’t know is that when a judge and a parent disagree on what is best for a child, the judge is not allowed to overrule the parent. Constitutionally, the judge is required to defer to the parent unless evidence is presented that proves the parent’s decision would be detrimental to the child.
However, many Texas judges and attorneys are entirely unaware of this requirement. In practice, when a judge and a parent disagree, the parent usually loses.
For this reason, THSC is working to amend the Texas Family Code to reflect this constitutional requirement, ensuring that local judges and attorneys are aware of the rule and that families are not unnecessarily intruded upon.
In a day and age when families are under attack from virtually every corner, it is critical that we give clear direction to Texas Courts on how these difficult cases should be handled.
We believe that the Texas Family Code must be reformed to reflect the constitutional requirement that parents have the right to raise their children and the state may not overrule the parent unless it is necessary to protect the child.
If you agree, visit our Legislative Action Center and sign up for key action alerts regarding The Family Unity Act. You may also text “TXHOMESCHOOL” to 919191 to receive legislative alerts!