Child Abandonment under Texas Law

Leaving a child under the age of 15 without reasonable and necessary care by an adult may constitute child abandonment. The court must prove the adult did this knowingly.

Caregivers cannot be accused of abandonment but can be charged with other forms of neglect. Anyone who knows a child that has been abandoned or otherwise neglected must report this to local law enforcement. This is also true of people who deal with children like, teachers, nurses, probation officers, doctors and day care employees.

A child left with a parent or a non-parent without intent to return can be considered abandonment. If the parent did not express an intent not to return after three months the court will make will charge of parental abandonment.

Abandonment can be charged if a parent fails to pay child support. Filing a petition after failure to receive child support for six months, the delinquent parent has six months to pay child support or be charged with child abandonment.

Men who knowingly fail to support the mother during pregnancy and do not see or support the child after birth, can be charged with legal abandonment of a child.

Child Abandonment (Family) in Texas Law

Criminal Procedure


pertaining to statute of limitations for felony indictments for abandoning or endangering the child

Family Code


pertaining to temporary emergency jurisdiction, involuntary termination of parent-child relationship, abandoned children, identification of a child, aggravated circumstances, service plan not required, final order appointing department is managing conservator, termination of parental rights

Occupation Code


pertaining to required suspension revocation or refusal of license

Penal Code


pertaining to abandoning or endangering a child, making a firearm accessible to a child, unreasonable risk of harm, state jail felony, intent to return

Probate Code


pertaining to matters affecting the right to inherit, presumption concerning best interest, bond requirements for trustees

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