In December 2022, the Family Freedom Project filed a brief, defending Texas father, Treigh Kalinec, and his children in what could be a critically important case for all Texas parents.

Treigh Kalinec, a father from Texas, has been engaged in a legal battle where he is fighting for custody of his children. After initially navigating a lengthy Child Protective Services (CPS) investigation, the court sent Treight’s  children back to live with him full-time. CPS, the court, and all of the other participants in the case acknowledged that he was a good father who could care for his children well. Despite the fact that no one questions Kalinec’s fitness as a parent, his parental rights are being threatened again.

Just when it looked like the case would be over, Treigh’s mother-in-law decided to sue him. She also filed a final brief on December 7, 2022, to the Supreme Court of Texas (SCOTX) arguing that she should be able to  take partial custody of Treigh Kalinec’s two children from him.

Treigh’s in-law isn’t accusing him of being a negligent father. She is asserting that she ought to be entitled to split custody of his kids even though he is a good father. She claims that because the family was previously involved in a CPS case – even though the children were ultimately sent back to live with Treigh Kalinec – that she should be able to step in and take the children.

In other words, even though the court found the father to be a fit parent, the in-law claims that she should be able to usurp the father’s parental rights anyway. This is wrong and could create a dangerous precedent where the rights of non-family members to raise children are given priority.

In this case, the SCOTX is being urged to rule on what legal criteria must be met before a court may disregard a parent’s wishes. Texas parents may be affected by this case in significant ways.

Children cannot be used as a means of exchange to resolve conflicts between adults. Children need loving parents and a stable home.  Parental rights should not be usurped by a nonparent unless there is clear evidence that doing so is required to protect the kid from grave harm.

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