AUSTIN—Yesterday, the Texas Public Policy Foundation filed an amicus brief with the Texas Supreme Court on behalf of a father forced to share custody of his daughter with a virtual stranger.

In the case, C.J.C. is the father of a four-year-old girl who shared custody with his daughter’s biological mother. In July 2018, the mother was tragically killed in a car accident, at which point the little girl went to live with her father full-time. Not long after the mother’s death, the child’s grandparents filed for joint custody against the wishes of C.J.C. Ultimately, the grandparents’ custody suit was dismissed.

After the court denied the grandparents’ custody request, the mother’s ex-fiancé, J.D., filed a lawsuit to obtain joint custody on the grounds that he had lived with the child’s mother for approximately 11 months before her death. Shockingly, the District Court judge not only awarded J.D., a virtual stranger to the child, joint custody of C.J.C.’s daughter, she went even further by stating that the little girl could spend nearly unlimited time with her maternal grandparents during J.D’s periods of possession.

“This case represents a brazen end-run around protections for the fundamental rights of fit parents protected by state law and the Constitution,” said Andrew Brown, Director of the Center for Families and Children at the Texas Public Policy Foundation. “The law is abundantly clear—a fit parent is presumed to naturally act in the best interests of the child and courts are prohibited from substituting their judgment for that of a child’s parent. If the judge’s unconstitutional order is allowed to stand, all Texas parents will be at risk of having to share custody of their children with untold numbers of non-relatives or even virtual strangers.”

To read the full amicus brief, please visit: