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Children's property rights in Texas


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#1 mhblevins

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Posted 17 December 2012 - 07:16 AM

My grandson's parents were never married, but lived together for several years. The grandson lives with his father who has sole custody. The mother is allowed only supervised visits. My husband built an heirloom quality chest for the grandson which the mother refuses to give up. What are my grandson's legal rights to this property? All of them live in the Dallas/Fort Worth, Texas area.

#2 pg1067

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Posted 17 December 2012 - 07:27 AM

What does this have to do with marriage or divorce?

In any event, how did this item get into the mother's possession? Is it safe to assume the value of the item is no more than a couple hundred dollars?

#3 mhblevins

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Posted 17 December 2012 - 07:59 AM

Sorry if I have posted in the wrong forum. I am assuming this is an issue that might arise after a divorce and thought I might find an answer here.

The parents lived together for several years. The split was sudden and the father was not able to take all of his and my grandson's belongings when they left the home. He has repeatedly asked to have the piece returned, to no avail.

We don't really care about the actual value of the item -- we care about the sentimental value of the piece. However, I understand that a court would probably deal only with the monetary value. My husband builds and sells these pieces for around $450 each.

#4 Guest_FindLaw_Amir_*

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Posted 17 December 2012 - 09:57 AM

Was a reason given for the item not to be returned?

#5 mhblevins

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Posted 17 December 2012 - 10:05 AM

No. We can only assume that the mother either wants to keep it for herself, or wants to keep it to hurt the father's family. The court does not allow the grandson to visit her home, so he gets no benefit from her keeping possession of it.

#6 pg1067

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Posted 17 December 2012 - 02:05 PM

I cannot speak specifically about Texas law. However, property given to a minor child is typically considered to belong to the child's parents. If the item was given to the child at a time when the parents were living together and there was, presumably, no custody order, it likely either belongs to the mother and the father jointly or solely to the mother. If your grandson's father has occasion to appear before the family court for another reason, he may want to raise the issue at that time and see if the court will be willing to order the mother to turn it over. Otherwise, he can deal with it in small claims court if he wants.




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