Dear Customer: You need to file a petition for suit affecting parent child relationship (called "SAPCR") in Texas. This is the name of the lawsuit that is filed when a person needs a custody arrangement but is not married. In order to get the process "started", you would need to get a Petition written and then you would need to serve the Petition to your ex so that he has notice of the lawsuit. Here is an online form example of the petition you would need to file: Link to Petition. Once this form is filled out, you would file it with the district clerk in the county where the children reside in Texas. In order to file the document, you will bring 3 copies with you, including the original. You will be prepared to pay the filing fees for the lawsuit (call the district clerk and ask about the forms of payment accepted). Usually the fees are about $300. When you file the suit, you would ask that a citation be prepared. Then you would serve your ex with the document by hiring a $60.00 process server (they can be found online) that works in your zip code. The process server would go to the court house and pick up the citation that the clerks will have made. He will serve it on your ex, and then your lawsuit it fully underway. Now, the only job left is to appear in court, have a hearing, or come up with an agreed upon custody and support arrangement. HINT: If you can come up with an agreement with your ex somehow, and you call a lawyer and tell the lawyer that you have an AGREED SAPCR case that has already been filed, then fees are much less. Of course, if you do not have an agreement, your lawyer will have to charge more. I hope this helps you with your question on how to get the process started.
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