By: Van de Putte S.B. No. 393
A BILL TO BE ENTITLED
relating to the designation of certain adults to exercise child
visitation and possession rights on behalf of a parent serving in
the armed forces and deployed outside this country.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF TEXAS:
SECTION 1. Subchapter B, Chapter 153, Family Code, is
amended by adding Section 153.077 to read as follows:
Sec. 153.077. DESIGNATION BY MILITARY PERSONNEL OF SPOUSE
OR GRANDPARENT TO EXERCISE PERIODS OF POSSESSION. (a) This
section applies only to a parent deployed outside of the United
States in a foreign country as a member of the United States armed
forces who has been awarded periods of possession of a child as a:
(1) possessory conservator of the child;
(2) joint managing conservator of the child without
the exclusive right to designate the primary residence of the
(3) noncustodial parent with comparable rights by
virtue of an order by a court or tribunal of another state.
(b) Except as otherwise provided by this subsection, a
parent described by Subsection (a) may designate in writing the
parent's spouse or a grandparent of the child to exercise, in the
manner provided by this section, possession of the child on behalf
of the parent during the time that the parent is deployed. This
subsection does not authorize a parent to designate a person whose
access to the child is prohibited or restricted by a court order.
(c) Unless otherwise agreed in accordance with Subsection
(e)(3), a person designated under Subsection (b) shall have the
right to possession of the child on the first weekend of each month
beginning at 6 p.m. on the day school recesses for the weekend and
ending at 6 p.m. on the day before school resumes after the weekend,
beginning with the first weekend that begins not earlier than the
30th day after the date on which the designating parent provides
notice under Subsection (e)(2).
(d) If a parent designates a person under this section:
(1) the other parent shall surrender the child to the
designated person at the beginning of each period of possession at
the other parent's residence;
(2) the designated person shall return the child to
the other parent's residence at the end of each period of
(3) the child's other parent and the designated person
are subject to the requirements of Sections 153.316(5)-(9);
(4) the designated person has the rights and duties of
a nonparent possessory conservator under Section 153.376(a) during
the period that the person has possession of the child; and
(5) the designated person is subject to any provision
in a court order restricting or prohibiting access to the child by
any specified individual.
(e) A parent described by Subsection (a):
(1) may exercise the right provided by this section
regardless of whether the right is specified in the order awarding
periods of possession to the parent;
(2) must provide written notice of the designation to
the child's other parent; and
(3) may reach an agreement with the other parent for
alternative periods of possession by the designated person.
(f) A person who receives a written designation under this
section may seek a court order at any time prohibiting the
designated person from exercising the right to possession on the
grounds that the possession is not in the best interest of the
(g) After a deployment described by Subsection (a) is
concluded, a designation under this section has no effect and the
rights of all affected parties are governed by the terms of any
court order applicable when a parent is not deployed in the manner
described by Subsection (a).
SECTION 2. Section 153.077, Family Code, as added by this
Act, applies to each parent appointed as a conservator of a child or
awarded comparable rights by a court or tribunal of another state
regardless of the date on which the parent was appointed as
conservator or awarded comparable rights.
SECTION 3. This Act takes effect immediately if it receives
a vote of two-thirds of all the members elected to each house, as
provided by Section 39, Article III, Texas Constitution. If this
Act does not receive the vote necessary for immediate effect, this
Act takes effect September 1, 2005.