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3/15/2013 4:35:08 PM
Darren Jones--HSLDA
Texas: Calls Needed to Oppose Attack on Parental Rights

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From the HSLDA E-lert Service...
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Texas: Calls Needed to Oppose Attack on Parental Rights

Dear HSLDA Members and Friends,

Senate Bill 1148, which would modify state law to permit grandparents
to more easily sue for custody or visitation against the parents'
wishes, is scheduled for a hearing before the Senate Jurisprudence
Committee on Tuesday, March 19 at 1:30 p.m.
http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?id=17609
This bill will cause intact families, including perfectly fit parents,
to face potential court challenges to their parenting decisions
whenever they limit or restrict their child's visitation from
grandparents.

Under current law courts can only force a change of custody or
visitation over the parents' objection if the grandparent proves two
things: first, that denial of the visitation would significantly
impair the child's physical health or emotional well-being; and
second, that the parent is in jail, incompetent, deceased, or does not
actually have possession. SB 1148 would remove the second provision,
leaving grandparents free to sue any time they believed that they
should have either custody or visitation.

Grandparents are normally well intended when they seek visitation;
however, we have defended member families where the grandparents are
seeking visitation after they have been denied because of their
interference with parents' choice to homeschool. We believe that where
homeschooling families are intact, they should not have to defend
their decisions regarding who will have access to their children.

The bill as proposed could force parents to defend their parental
rights if they simply deny visitation to a grandparent.

Action Requested:

Please call the Senate Jurisprudence Committee members listed below
and urge them to oppose this bill. If one is your representative, be
sure to mention that when you call. You do not need to identify
yourself as a homeschooler; instead you can identify yourself as a
concerned parent and taxpayer.

Give them one or more of the following talking points in your own
words:

1. Please oppose SB 1148. It is unconstitutional based on the U.S.
Supreme Court's ruling in Troxel v. Granville, 539 U.S. 57 (2000).
Intact families have a fundamental right to deny visitation with
grandparents, and any law to the contrary would likely be struck down
by the Texas Supreme Court. Current Texas law already correctly
protects families' rights.

2. SB 1148 would create a financial burden on intact families having
to defend their private family decisions regarding who has contact
with their children. Some families simply could not afford to defend
themselves, some bad decisions can be handed down, and children will
be harmed as a result.

3. SB 1148 would significantly increase the caseload burden on an
already overburdened court system, increasing costs and delays. Many
more cases could also be appealed to the Supreme Court.

Senate Jurisprudence Committee members - click
http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?id=17610
for contact information:

Chair: Sen. Royce West
Vice Chair: Sen. Jose R. Rodriguez
Sen. Donna Campbell
Sen. John Carona
Sen. Sylvia Garcia
Sen. Kelly Hancock
Sen. Ken Paxton

The hearing is scheduled to take place in the Betty King Committee
Room (Room 350) of the Sam Houston Building.

Background:

Ideally, families get along; parents, grandparents, and even
great-grandparents work together to raise strong and healthy kids. But
that is not always the case.

Regardless of how healthy these relationships are, it falls to fit and
loving parents to make decisions regarding the care, custody, and
control of the child--including decisions regarding who has contact
with that child.

However, SB 1148 would allow a grandparent to sue the parents for
visitation or even custody rights to the child. If this bill becomes
law, a person could sue for visitation rights even when both parents
are together and there is no pending dissolution, legal separation, or
modification of a parenting plan proceeding.

Under current Texas law, grandparents can sue for visitation if the
parent is in jail, incompetent, deceased, or does not actually have
possession of the child. This current law is in keeping with the
constitutional standard upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court in Troxel v.
Granville. As proposed, HSLDA believes SB 1148 would violate that
standard.

Thank you for taking the time today to stand with us for freedom.
Together we can protect children by empowering their parents to make
decisions for them free of this kind of intrusion.

Sincerely,


Darren A. Jones
Staff Attorney

Other Resources:
Bill Text
http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?id=17611


P.S. We greatly value you and your support--it is a privilege to serve
you! If you or someone you know is not a member of HSLDA, will you
consider taking a moment today to join or recommend us? Your support
enables us to defend individual families and protect homeschooling
freedom for all. Join now:
http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?id=17612

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We're thankful for the support HSLDA membership provides us. We'd
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homeschoolers. - North Tonawanda, NY

I cannot imagine our homeschool journey without HSLDA's strong
leadership, protection, and guidance. God bless HSLDA!
- Alta Loma, California

More reasons to join HSLDA...
http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?id=1940

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