Legal Overview of Adversary Hearing

Texas Family Code

Title 5. The Parent-Child Relationship & the Suit Affecting the Parent-Child Relationship Chapter 262. Procedures in Suit by Governmental Entity to Protect Health & Safety of Child Subchapter C. Adversary Hearing

Please see the At a Glance and Adversary Hearing

Checklists in the Checklist Section of the Bench Book.

There are two types of hearings considered to be adversary under Tex. Fam. Code Chapter 262, Subchapter C. The first and most well-known occurs after a court grants an ex parte order approving the removal of a child from a parent or caretaker; this hearing is to be held within 14 days of the date the child was taken into the possession of DFPS. Tex. Fam. Code§ 262.201. The second type of Adversary Hearing occurs when the child is not in the possession of DFPS and DFPS is requesting to take possession of the child after notice and hearing. When DFPS files a petition pursuant to Section 262.113, the court must set a full adversary no later than the 30th day after the date the suit is filed. Tex. Fam. Code § 262.201(b). Courts across Texas differ in the way full Adversary Hearings are held, but in all cases DFPS has the burden to show why its recommendations, including why a child should be in substitute care, should be approved by the court.

A. Service of Citation

B. Notice

C. Hearing After Emergency Removal With or Without a Court Order

D. Hearing When Child Not in Possession of DFPS

E. If Court Does Not Remove or Continue DFPS Conservatorship

F. Mandatory Appointment of Attorney for Parent

G. Transfer

H. Placement With Relatives or Designated Caregiver

I. Placement When Child Victim of Human Trafficking

J. Aggravated Circumstances

K. Decisions Regarding Education Required at Adversary Hearing