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If your husband's ex wife wants to sign temporary rights of their kids to her parents shouldn't your husband gain the temporary custody before her parents?

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Not in Texas. I have to make some assumptions here, always a bad idea, but it goes something like this: I assume that your husband and his ex-wife went to court at the break up of their marriage and she obtained custody of the children. Now, in Texas, "custody" is actually technically called the "right to determine the residence of the children" and, generally, both parties are called "joint managing conservators" but, in reality, despite the misnomer, again, generally, one party has "custody" and the other party has visitation rights. Again, I will assume that the parties are operating under a "standard" order. An attorney's knee-jerk reaction should be "I don't know, let's review the order," but that wouldn't be much of an answer here, so I will try to help, again, realizing that this only for Texas orders and, secondly, obvious disclaimer, I am only providing a general opinion. DO NOT RELY ON THIS POST FOR LEGAL ADVICE. CONSULT AN ATTORNEY. That attorney should want to review the order to give you specific answers.
So the quick answer is "no."

However, I am not sure an ex wife can merely "sign over" rights. Putting on my stubborn attorney gear, I would say I don't even know what you are talking about. I mean, anyone can sign a piece of paper saying anything. What is the legal effect of it? If she just jots on a notebook piece of paper, "Mom takes care of the kids till I get out of rehab," it's ineffective. Then your husband has the right to file a petition to change custody ("right to determine residency") in Texas and would probably win. If "sign over" means she is going to court, then your husband has a right to be NOTIFIED and fight for custody. Now, the law kicks in. In the context of a court case, the Texas judge applying the law properly should award the child to the last biological parent standing, unless the other party ("Mom," for simplicity's sake) proves he is unfit. Not likely, unless he's in rehab, too. There is a third possibility, I suppose, which is she goes to an attorney to have some kind of official-looking affidavit drawn up saying Mom gets kids for x period of time. While this may be effective for Mom vis-a-vis the school, health care providers, babysitters, etc., it does not prevent and in fact should prompt your husband to go down and file immediately. I would not suggest grabbing the kids, other than to exercise his court-ordered visitation, until he consults with an attorney and gets some pleadings on file. Like I said, his ex-wife gets to designate where the kids live (if it's a standard Texas case). While this designation is usually with the parent, it could be with Aunt Suzie, with Mom or with anyone else. Again, that type of designation, while allowable, generally springs the other parent into action.

I am an attorney practicing in Victoria, Texas, licensed by the State Bar since 1987. Any information provided herein is informational only. I answered off the top of my head without doing any research. I do not guarantee the accuracy of my answers. I am not using my comments or this website to solicit business.
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