79R4392 KKA-F

By:  Van de Putte                                                 S.B. No. 393

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 child; or (3) noncustodial parent with comparable rights by virtue of an order by a court or tribunal of another state. (b) A parent described by Subsection (a) may designate 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. (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. (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 possession; (3) the child's other parent and the designated person are subject to the requirements of Sections 153.316(5)-(9); and (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. (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. 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.