Ongoing Duty of a Parent to Provide Notice to the Other Parent

Under applicable Texas law, each parent has the duty to inform the other parent of minor children if the parent resides with for at least thirty (30) days, marries, or intends to marry a person who the parent knows is registered as a sex offender under Chapter 62 of the Code of Criminal Procedure.  The parent with minor children has a similar duty to notify the other parent if he or she is residing with, marries, or even intends to marry someone who is currently charged with an offense for which on conviction the person would be required to register under that Chapter.  So, the notice has to be given to the other parent even if their partner has not yet been convicted of a sexual offense that would make them register as a sex offender.  The law requires that this information be tendered in the form of a written notice made as soon as practicable, but not later than the fortieth (40th) day after the date the parent begins to reside with the person or on the tenth (10th) day after the date the marriage occurs, as appropriate.  The notice must include a description of the offense that is the basis of the person’s requirement to register as a sex offender or a description of the offense with which the person is currently charged.  Failure to provide this written notice can cause the parent who fails to give notice to be charged with a Class C misdemeanor.

In Texas, there is a criminal procedure known as a “protective order”.  A person can get a protective order against another person if the other person has caused them physical bodily harm, if the other person has damaged the victim’s property, or even if the other person has just threatened to do either of those things.  It is a very serious matter.  Each parent with minor children also has the duty to inform the other parent if the parent establishes a residence with a person who the parent knows is the subject of a final protective order sought by an individual other than the parent that is in effect on the date the residence with the person is established. The parent also has to notify the other parent if they reside with or allow unsupervised access to a child by a person who is the subject of a final protective order sought by the parent after the expiration of 60-day period following the date the final protective order is issued, or if the parent is the subject of a final protective order issued after the date of the order establishing conservatorship.  So, even if the protective order is against you, you have a duty to notify your child’s other parent that you are under a protective order.

This information about the protective order shall be tendered in the form of a notice made as soon as practicable, but not later than the thirtieth (30th) day after the date the parent establishes residence with the person who is the subject of the final protective order, or the ninetieth (90th) day after the date the final protective order was issued if the parent resides with or allows unsupervised access to the person who is the subject of a final protective order sought by the conservator, or the thirtieth (30th) day after the date the final protective order issued against the parent which is issued after the date of the order establishing conservatorship, as appropriate.  Failure to provide this written notice can cause the parent who fails to give notice to be charged with a Class C misdemeanor.

The law does not clearly state HOW you are to give notice.  My advice is to give notice to the other parent in writing (text message, email, or certified letter), so that you can prove that you gave the required notice.  You may be reluctant to give the notice, as you know that it will likely result in the other parent filing to gain custody, based upon the information that you have provided.  However, the notice is required by law and the failure is punishable as a crime.  Further, if you fail to give the notice, it is likely that the court will consider that failure when deciding where the children should reside.