How Is Child Residency Determined In Texas ?

In general, Texas cases determining residency have relied on the child's relationship to the household, the nature of the child's stay in the home, and the intent of the parties. In Hartford Casualty Insurance Co. v. Phillips, 575 S.W.2d 62 (Tex. Civ. App.--Texarkana 1978, no writ), a fourteen-year old boy left some clothes at his mother's home and visited her regularly. Id. at 63. Even though his mother had been awarded legal custody, the boy lived primarily with his father. See id. Nonetheless, he was held to be a resident of his mother's home for insurance purposes. See id. In Travelers Indemnity Company v. Mattox, 345 S.W.2d 290 (Tex. Civ. App.--Texarkana 1961, writ ref'd n.r.e.), the court upheld a jury finding that a minor son living temporarily away from his father was a resident of his father's home under an auto insurance policy. Id. at 292. Most of the son's personal belongings were still at his father's home, and he intended to return there to live. See id. at 291. In each of these cases, the child had a blood relationship with others in the household despite having an insignificant presence in the home. Although the children did not regularly live in the household, attend school from there, or even regularly eat meals there, the combination of their relationship to the household and the intent of the parties to continue that relationship was enough to establish residency.