Does a designated person have rights?

If you are a person who will be deployed as part of your military service, a designated person means the person ordered by the Court to temporarily exercise a conservator’s rights, duties, and periods of possession and access with regard to a child during the conservator’s military deployment, military mobilization, or temporary military duty.

If you are a military parent, military deployment means the temporary transfer of a service member of the armed forces of this state or the United States serving in an active-duty status to another location in support of combat or some other military operation.

What do I do as a military parent if I am deployed?

If a conservator is ordered to military deployment, military mobilization, or temporary military duty that involves moving a substantial distance from the conservator’s residence so as to materially affect the conservator’s ability to exercise the conservator’s right and duties in relation to a child, either conservator may file for an order under chapter 153 of the Texas Family Code without the necessity of showing a material and substantial change of circumstances other than the military deployment, military mobilization, or temporary military duty.

A Texas court may render a temporary order in a proceeding under the Texas Family Code regarding possession of or access to a child or child support for a child. The Court’s temporary order may grant rights to and impose duties on a designated person regarding the child, except that if the designated person is a nonparent, the court may not require the designated person to pay child support.

Once the military parent’s deployment, mobilization, or temporary military duty is concluded, and the conservator returns to the conservator’s usual residence, the temporary orders under the court’s order terminate and the rights of all the affected parties are governed by the terms of any court order applicable when the conservator was not ordered to military deployment, mobilization, or temporary military duty.

Does the designated person designate where the child’s primary residence will be?

If the conservator with the exclusive right to designate the primary residence of the child is ordered to military deployment, mobilization, or temporary military duty, the court may render a temporary order to appoint a designated person to exercise the exclusive right to designate the primary residence of the child during the military deployment, mobilization, or temporary military duty in the following order of preference. The number one preference will be the conservator who does not have the exclusive right to designate the primary residence of the child. If the forgoing designation is not in the child’s best interest, the military person may designate another person who will have the exclusive right to designate the child’s primary residence. Thirdly, the court may designate another person if the appointment of a person by the military parent is not in the best interest of the child. However, a nonparent appointed as a designated person in a temporary order rendered by the court will also have the rights and duties of a nonparent appointed as sole managing conservator under section 153.371 of the Texas Family Code. The court also has the authority to limit or expand the rights of a nonparent named as the designated person in a temporary order rendered by the court as appropriate to the best interest of the child.