Child Support
Criminal Nonsupport Handbook


Substantive Law
Criminal Provisions
Family Code Provisions
Relevant Case Law

Criminal Provisions

Criminal Nonsupport [Texas Penal Code § 25.05]

(a) An individual commits an offense if the individual intentionally or knowingly fails to provide support for the individual's child younger than 18 years of age, or for the individual's child who is the subject of a court order requiring the individual to support the child.

(b) For purposes of this section, "child" includes a child born out of wedlock whose paternity has either been acknowledged by the actor or has been established in a civil suit under the Family Code or the law of another state.

(c) Under this section, a conviction may be had on the uncorroborated testimony of a party to the offense.

(d) It is an affirmative defense to prosecution under this section that the actor could not provide support for the actor's child.

(e) The pendency of a prosecution under this section does not affect the power of a court to enter an order for child support under the Family Code.

(f) An offense under this section is a state jail felony.

Definitions
"Individual" means a human being who is alive, including an unborn child at every stage of gestation from fertilization until birth. [Texas Penal Code § 1.07(26)]

Conduct does not constitute an offense unless it is defined as an offense by statute, municipal ordinance, order of a county commissioners court, or rule authorized by and lawfully adopted under a statute. [Texas Penal Code § 1.03(a)]

A person who omits to perform an act does not commit an offense unless a law as defined by Section 1.07 provides that the omission is an offense or otherwise provides that he has a duty to perform the act. [Texas Penal Code § 6.01]

“Omission” means failure to act. [Texas Penal Code § 1.07(34)]
A person acts intentionally, or with intent, with respect to the nature of his conduct or to a result of his conduct when it is his conscious objective or desire to engage in the conduct or cause the result. [Texas Penal Code § 1.07(a)]

A person acts knowingly, or with knowledge, with respect to the nature of his conduct or to circumstances surrounding his conduct when he is aware of the nature of his conduct or that the circumstances exist. A person acts knowingly, or with knowledge, with respect to a result of his conduct when he is aware that his conduct is reasonably certain to cause the result. [Texas Penal Code § 1.07(b)]

"Actor" means a person whose criminal responsibility is in issue in a criminal action. [Texas Penal Code §1.07(2)]

Texas Penal Code § 2.04 Affirmative Defense

(a) An affirmative defense in this code is so labeled by the phrase: "It is an affirmative defense to prosecution . . . ."

(b) The prosecuting attorney is not required to negate the existence of an affirmative defense in the accusation charging commission of the offense.

(c) The issue of the existence of an affirmative defense is not submitted to the jury unless evidence is admitted supporting the defense.

(d) If the issue of the existence of an affirmative defense is submitted to the jury, the court shall charge that the defendant must prove the affirmative defense by a preponderance of evidence.

Jurisdiction
Texas Code Crim. Proc. art. 13.16. Criminal Nonsupport

Criminal nonsupport may be prosecuted in the county where the offended spouse or child is residing at the time the information or indictment is presented.

Texas Penal Code § 1.04 (c) Territorial Jurisdiction
An offense based on an omission to perform a duty imposed on an actor by a statute of this state is committed inside this state regardless of the location of the actor at the time of the offense.

Punishment [Texas Penal Code §§12.35(a), b)]
An individual adjudged guilty of a state jail felony shall be punished by confinement in a state jail for any term of not more than two years or less than 180 days and a fine not to exceed $10,000.

Statute of Limitations [Texas Code Criminal Procedure art. 12.01. Felonies]
Except as provided in Article 12.03, felony indictments may be presented within these limits, and not afterward:
(6) three years from the date of the commission of the offense: all other felonies.

Prior Law [Criminal Nonsupport: Texas Penal Code § 25.05 (prior to 9/1/94)]

(a) An individual commits an offense if the individual intentionally or knowingly fails to provide support for the individual's child younger than 18 years of age, or for the individual's child who is the subject of a court order requiring the individual to support the child.

(b) For purposes of this section, "child" includes a child born out of wedlock whose paternity has either been acknowledged by the actor or has been established in a civil suit under the Family Code or the law of another state.

(c) Under this section, a conviction may be had on the uncorroborated testimony of a party to the offense.

(d) It is an affirmative defense to prosecution under this section that the actor could not provide support for the actor's child.

(e) The pendency of a prosecution under this section does not affect the power of a court to enter an order for child support under the Family Code.

(f) Except as provided in Subsection (g) of this section, an offense under this section is a Class A misdemeanor.

(g) An offense under this section is a felony of the third degree if the actor:

(1) has been convicted one or more times under this section; or
(2) commits the offense while residing in another state.

Family Code Provisions

Establishment of Parent-Child Relationships [Texas Family Code § 160.201]
(a) The mother-child relationship is established between a woman and a child by:

(1) the woman giving birth to the child;
(2) an adjudication of the woman’s maternity; or
(3) the adoption of the child by the woman.

(b) The father-child relationship is established between a man and a child by:

(1) an unrebutted presumption of the man’s paternity of the child under Section 160.204;
(2) an effective acknowledgment of paternity by the man under Subchapter D, unless the acknowledgment has been rescinded or successfully challenged;
(3) an adjudication of the man’s paternity;
(4) the adoption of the child by the man; or
(5) the man’s consenting to assisted reproduction by his wife under Subchapter H, which resulted in the birth of the child.

Consequences of Establishment of Parentage [Texas Family Code § 160.203]
Unless parental rights are terminated, a parent-child relationship established under this chapter applies for all purposes, except as otherwise provided by another law of this state.

Presumption of Paternity in Context of Marriage [Texas Family Code § 160.204]
(a) A man is presumed to be the father of a child if:

(1) he is married to the mother of the child and the child is born during the marriage;

(2) he is married to the mother of the child and the child is born before the 301st day after the date the marriage is terminated by death, annulment, declaration of invalidity, or divorce;

(3) he married the mother of the child before the birth of the child in apparent compliance with law, even if the attempted marriage is or could be declared invalid, and the child is born during the invalid marriage or before the 301st day after the date the marriage is terminated by death, annulment, declaration of invalidity, or divorce;

(4) he married the mother of the child after the birth of the child in apparent compliance with law, regardless of whether the marriage is or could be declared invalid, he voluntarily asserted his paternity of the child and:
(A) the assertion is in a record filed with the bureau of vital statistics;
(B) he is voluntarily named as the child’s father on the child’s birth certificate; or
(C) he promised in a record to support the child as his own; or

(5) during the first two years of the child’s life, he continuously resided in the household in which the child resided and he represented to others that the child was his own.

Subsection (b) below is effective for SAPCRs filed on or after Sept. 1, 2003.

(b) A presumption of paternity established under this section may be rebutted only by:
(1) an adjudication under Subchapter G; or

(2) the filing of a valid denial of paternity by a presumed father in conjunction with the filing by another person of a valid acknowledgment of paternity as provided by Section 160.305.

Subsection (b) below is effective for SAPCRs filed before Sept. 1, 2003

(b) A presumption of paternity established under

Acknowledgment of Paternity [Texas Family Code § 160.301]

For suits filed before September 1, 2003:

The mother of a child and a man claiming to be the father of the child conceived as the result of sexual intercourse with the mother may sign an acknowledgment of paternity with the intent to establish the man’s paternity.

For suits filed after September 1, 2003:

The mother of a child and a man claiming to be the biological father of the child may sign an acknowledgment of paternity with the intent to establish the man’s paternity.

Execution of Acknowledgment of Paternity [Texas Family Code § 160.302]

(a) An acknowledgment of paternity must:

(1) be in a record;

(2) be signed, or otherwise authenticated, under penalty of perjury by the mother and the man seeking to establish paternity;

(3) state that the child whose paternity is being acknowledged:
(A) does not have a presumed father or has a presumed father whose full name is stated; and

(B) does not have another acknowledged or adjudicated father;
(4) state whether there has been genetic testing and, if so, that the acknowledging man’s claim of paternity is consistent with the results of the testing; and

(5)state that the signatories understand that the acknowledgment is equivalent of a judicial adjudication of the paternity of the child and that a challenge to the acknowledgment is permitted only under limited circumstances and is barred after four years.

(b) An acknowledgment of paternity void if it:

(1) states that another man is a presumed father of the child, unless a denial of paternity signed or otherwise authenticated by the presumed father is filed with the bureau of vital statistics;

(2) states that another man is an acknowledged or adjudicated father of the child; or

(3) falsely denies the existence of a presumed, acknowledged, or adjudicated father of the child; or

(c) A presumed father may sign or otherwise authenticate an acknowledgment of paternity.

Denial of Paternity [Texas Family Code § 160.303]

A presumed father of a child may sign a denial of his paternity. The denial is valid only if:

(1) an acknowledgment of paternity signed or otherwise authenticated by another man is filed under Section 160.305;

(2) the denial is in a record and is signed or otherwise authenticated under penalty of perjury; and

(3) the presumed father has not previously:
(A) acknowledged paternity of the child, unless the previous acknowledgment has been rescinded under Section 160.307 or successfully challenged under Section 160.308; or

(B) been adjudicated to be the father of the child.

Rules for Acknowledgment and Denial of Paternity [Texas Family Code § 160.304]

(a) An acknowledgment of paternity and a denial of paternity may be contained in a single document or in different documents and may be filed separately or simultaneously. If the acknowledgment and denial are both necessary, neither document is valid until both documents are filed.

(b) An acknowledgment of paternity or a denial of paternity may be signed before the birth of the child.

(c) Subject to Subsection (a), an acknowledgment of paternity or denial of paternity takes effect on the date of the birth of the child or the filing of the document with the bureau of vital statistics, whichever occurs later.

(d) An acknowledgment of paternity or denial of paternity signed by a minor is valid if it otherwise complies with this chapter.

Effect of Acknowledgment or Denial of Paternity [Texas Family Code § 160.305]

(a) Except as provided by Sections 160.307 and 160.308, a valid acknowledgment of paternity filed with the bureau of vital statistics is the equivalent of an adjudication of the paternity of a child and confers on the acknowledged father all rights and duties of a parent.

(b) Except as provided by Sections 160.307 and 160.308, a valid denial of paternity filed with the bureau of vital statistics in conjunction with a valid acknowledgment of paternity is the equivalent of an adjudication of the non paternity of the presumed father and discharges the presumed father from all rights and duties of a parent.

Proceeding for Rescission [Texas Family Code § 160.307]

A signatory may rescind an acknowledgment of paternity or denial of paternity by commencing a proceeding to rescind before the earlier of:

(1) the 60th day after the effective date of the acknowledgment or denial, as provided by Section 160.304; or

(2) the date of the first hearing in a proceeding to which the signatory is a party before a court to adjudicate an issue relating to the child, including a proceeding that establishes child support.

Challenge after Expiration of Period for Rescission [Texas Family Code § 160.308]

(a) After the period for rescission under Section 160.307 has expired, a signatory of an acknowledgment of paternity or denial of paternity may commence a proceeding to challenge the acknowledgment or denial only on the basis of fraud, duress, or material mistake of fact. The proceeding must be commenced before the fourth anniversary of the date the acknowledgment or denial is filed with the bureau of vital statistics.

(b) A party challenging an acknowledgment of paternity or denial of paternity has the burden of proof.

(c) Notwithstanding any other provision of this chapter, a collateral attack on an acknowledgment of paternity signed under this chapter may not be maintained after the fourth anniversary of the date the acknowledgment of paternity is filed with the bureau of vital statistics.

(d) For purposes of Subsection (a), evidence that, based on genetic testing, the man who is the signatory of an acknowledgment of paternity is not rebuttably identified as the father of a child in accordance with Section 160.505 constitutes a material mistake of fact.

Procedure for Rescission or Challenge [Texas Family Code § 160.309]

(a) Each signatory to an acknowledgment of paternity and any related denial of paternity must be made a party to a proceeding to rescind or challenge the acknowledgment or denial of paternity.

(b) For purposes of the rescission of or a challenge to an acknowledgment of paternity or denial of paternity, a signatory submits to the personal jurisdiction of this state by signing the acknowledgment or denial. The jurisdiction is effective on the filing of the document with the bureau of vital statistics.

Ratification Barred [Texas Family Code § 160.310]

A court or administrative agency conducting a judicial or administrative proceeding may not ratify an unchallenged acknowledgment of paternity.

Full Faith and Credit [Texas Family Code § 160.311]

A court of this state shall give full faith and credit to an acknowledgment of paternity or a denial of paternity that is effective in another state if the acknowledgment or denial has been signed and is otherwise in compliance with the law of the other state.

No Time Limitation: Child Having No Presumed, Acknowledged, or Adjudicated Father [Texas Family Code § 160.606]

A proceeding to adjudicate the parentage of a child having no presumed, acknowledged, or adjudicated father may be commenced at any time, including after the date:

(1) the child becomes an adult; or

(2) an earlier proceeding to adjudicate paternity has been dismissed based on the application of a statute of limitation then in effect.

Time Limitation: Child Having Presumed Father [Texas Family Code § 160.607]

(a) Except as otherwise provided by Subsection (b), a proceeding brought by a presumed father, the mother, or another individual to adjudicate the parentage of a child having a presumed father shall be commenced not later than the fourth anniversary of the date of the birth of the child.

(b) A proceeding seeking to disprove the father-child relationship between a child and the child's presumed father may be maintained at any time if the court determines that:

(1) the presumed father and the mother of the child did not live together or engage in sexual intercourse with each other during the probable time of conception; and

(2) the presumed father never represented to others that the child was his own.

Time Limitation: Child Having Acknowledged or Adjudicated Father [Texas Family Code § 160.609]

(a) If a child has an acknowledged father, a signatory to the acknowledgment or denial of paternity may commence a proceeding seeking to rescind the acknowledgment or denial or to challenge the paternity of the child only within the time allowed under Section 160.307 or 160.308.

(b) If a child has an acknowledged father or an adjudicated father, an individual, other than the child, who is not a signatory to the acknowledgment or a party to the adjudication and who seeks an adjudication of paternity of the child must commence a proceeding not later than the fourth anniversary of the effective date of the acknowledgment or adjudication.

Rules for Adjudication of Paternity [Texas Family Code § 160.631]

(a) The court shall apply the rules stated in this section to adjudicate the paternity of a child.

(b) The paternity of a child having a presumed, acknowledged, or adjudicated father may be disproved only by admissible results of genetic testing excluding that man as the father of the child or identifying another man as the father of the child.

(c) Unless the results of genetic testing are admitted to rebut other results of genetic testing, the man identified as the father of a child under Section 160.505 shall be adjudicated as being the father of the child.

(d) Unless the results of genetic testing are admitted to rebut other results of genetic testing, a man excluded as the father of a child by genetic testing shall be adjudicated as not being the father of the child.

(e) If the court finds that genetic testing under Section 160.505 does not identify or exclude a man as the father of a child, the court may not dismiss the proceeding. In that event, the results of genetic testing and other evidence are admissible to adjudicate the issue of paternity.

Binding Effect of Determination of Paternity [Texas Family Code § 160.637]

(a) Except as otherwise provided by Subsection (b) or Section 160.316, a determination of parentage is binding on:

(1) all signatories to an acknowledgment or denial of paternity as provided by Subchapter D; and

(2) all parties to an adjudication by a court acting under circumstances that satisfy the jurisdictional requirements of Section 159.201.

(b) A child is not bound by a determination of parentage under this chapter unless:
(1) the determination was based on an unrescinded acknowledgment of paternity and the acknowledgment is consistent with the results of genetic testing;

(2) the adjudication of parentage was based on a finding consistent with the results of genetic testing and the consistency is declared in the determination or is otherwise shown; or

(3) the child was a party or was represented in the proceeding determining parentage by an attorney ad litem.

(c) In a proceeding to dissolve a marriage, the court is considered to have made an adjudication of the parentage of a child if the court acts under circumstances that satisfy the jurisdictional requirements of Section 159.201, and the final order:
(1) expressly identifies the child as "a child of the marriage" or "issue of the marriage" or uses similar words indicating that the husband is the father of the child; or

(2) provides for the payment of child support for the child by the husband unless paternity is specifically disclaimed in the order.

(d) Except as otherwise provided by Subsection (b), a determination of parentage may be a defense in a subsequent proceeding seeking to adjudicate parentage by an individual who was not a party to the earlier proceeding.

(e) A party to an adjudication of paternity may challenge the adjudication only under the laws of this state relating to appeal, the vacating of judgments, or other judicial review.

Rights and Duties of Parents [Texas Family Code § 151.001]

(a) A parent of a child has the following rights and duties:

(3) the duty to support the child, including providing the child with clothing, food, shelter, medical and dental care, and education.

Support of Child [Texas Family Code § 154.001]

The court may order either or both parents to support a child in the manner specified by the order:

(1) until the child is 18 years of age or until graduation from high school, whichever occurs later;

(2) until the child is emancipated through marriage, through removal of the disabilities of minority by court order, or by other operation of law;

(3) until the death of the child; or

(4) if the child is disabled as defined in this chapter, for an indefinite period.

Interest Enforced as Child Support [Texas Family Code § 157.267]

Accrued interest is part of the child support obligation and may be enforced by any means provided for the collection of child support.

Termination of Duty of Support [Texas Family Code § 154.006]

(a) Unless otherwise agreed in writing or expressly provided in the order or as provided by Subsection(b), the child support order terminates on:

(1) the marriage of the child;

(2) the removal of the child's disabilities for general purposes;

(3) the death of:
(A) the child; or

(B) a parent ordered to pay child support; or
(4) a finding by a court that the child:
(A) is 18 years of age or older; and

(B) has failed to comply with the enrollment or attendance requirements described by Section 154.002(a).
(b) Unless a nonparent or agency has been appointed conservator of the child under Chapter 153, the order for current child support, and any provision relating to conservatorship, possession, or access terminates on the marriage or remarriage of the obligor and obligee to each other.

Grounds for Extradition [Texas Family Code § 159.801]

(a)In this subchapter, "governor" includes an individual performing the functions of governor or the executive authority of a state covered by this chapter.

(b) The governor of this state may:

(1) demand that the governor of another state surrender an individual found in the other state who is charged criminally in this state with having failed to provide for the support of an obligee; or

(2) on the demand of the governor of another state, surrender an individual found in this state who is charged criminally in the other state with having failed to provide for the support of an obligee.
(c) A provision for extradition of individuals not inconsistent with this chapter applies to the demand even if the individual whose surrender is demanded was not in the demanding state when the crime was allegedly committed and has not fled from that state.

Conditions of Extradition [Texas Family Code § 159.802]

(a) Before making a demand that the governor of another state surrender an individual charged criminally in this state with having failed to provide for the support of an obligee, the governor may require a prosecutor of this state to demonstrate:

(1) that not less than 60 days before the date of the demand, the obligee had initiated proceedings for support under this chapter; or

(2) that initiating the proceeding would be of no avail.
(b) If, under this chapter or a law substantially similar to this chapter, the governor of another state makes a demand that the governor of this state surrender an individual charged criminally in that state with having failed to provide for the support of a child or other individual to whom a duty of support is owed, the governor may require a prosecutor to investigate the demand and report whether a proceeding for support has been initiated or would be effective. If it appears that a proceeding would be effective but has not been initiated, the governor may delay honoring the demand for a reasonable time to permit the initiation of a proceeding.

(c) If a proceeding for support has been initiated and the individual whose rendition is demanded prevails, the governor may decline to honor the demand. If the petitioner prevails and the individual whose rendition is demanded is subject to a support order, the governor may decline to honor the demand if the individual is complying with the support order.

Provision for Medical Support [Texas Family Code § 154.008]

The court shall order medical support for the child as provided by Subchapters B and D.

Health Insurance Additional Support Duty of Obligor [Texas Family Code § 154.183]

(a) An amount that an obligor is required to pay for health insurance for the child:

(1) is in addition to the amount that the obligor is required to pay for child support under the guidelines for child support;

(2) is a child support obligation; and

(3) may be enforced as a child support obligation.
(b) If the court finds and states in the child support order that the obligee will maintain health insurance coverage for the child at the obligee's expense, the court may increase the amount of child support to be paid by the obligor in an amount not exceeding the total expense to the obligee for maintaining health insurance coverage.

(c) As additional child support, the court shall allocate between the parties, according to their circumstances, the reasonable and necessary health care expenses of a child that are not reimbursed by health insurance.

Court-Ordered Support for Disabled Child [Texas Family Code § 154.302]

(a) The court may order either or both parents to provide for the support of a child for an indefinite period and may determine the rights and duties of the parents if the court finds that:

(1) the child, whether institutionalized or not, requires substantial care and personal supervision because of a mental or physical disability and will not be capable of self-support; and

(2) the disability exists, or the cause of the disability is known to exist, on or before the 18th birthday of the child.
(b) A court that orders support under this section shall designate a parent of the child or another person having physical custody or guardianship of the child under a court order to receive the support for the child. The court may designate a child who is 18 years of age or older to receive the support directly.

Relevant Case Law

Elements of the Offense

The elements of the offense of criminal nonsupport are that the defendant (1) intentionally or knowingly (2) fails to provide support for his child younger than 18 years of age, or for his child who is the subject of a court order requiring the individual to support the child. [Belcher v. State, 962 S.W.2d 653 (Tex. App. -- Austin 1998, no pet.)]

The ability to pay is no longer an element of the offense. [Lyons v. State, 835 S.W.2d 715 (Tex. App. -- Texarkana 1992, no writ)]

Duty of Support

In Texas, the natural father has a continuing and primary duty arising from statutory and common law to support his children. [Gomez v. Perez, 409 U.S. 535 (1973)]

Duty of natural father to support his legitimate children under Texas common law and statute was enforceable on child's behalf in civil proceedings and was also subject of criminal sanctions. [Gomez v. Perez, 409 U.S. 535 (1973)]

Refusal of defendant's wife who was separated from defendant to take children and go to defendant upon his request did not relieve defendant of his duty to provide for his children when he knew that wife could not provide adequate support. [Martinez v. State, 165 Tex. Crim. 596, 307 S.W.2d 259 (1957)]

Defendant's showing that his second family drained his financial ability did not negate the element of willfulness in neglect and refusal to support a minor child. [Almanza v. State, 365 S.W.2d 360, (Tex. Crim. App. 1963)]

Intentionally or Knowingly

Evidence that defendant had been notified of his arrearage in child support, and testimony of defendant’s ex-wife that defendant had threatened to withhold support payments in retaliation for bringing charges against him, permitted a rational jury to find beyond a reasonable doubt that appellant’s failure to support his children was intentional or knowing. [Belcher v. State, 962 S.W.2d 653, (Tex. App.--Austin, 1998, no pet.)]

Jurisdiction

Where defendant father was not a Texas resident and not under any Texas court order to support his children, prosecution in Texas for criminal non-support was appropriate since the crime of nonsupport is committed where the children reside. [State v. Paiz, 777 S.W.2d 575 (Tex. App.–Amarillo 1989), aff’d as reformed, 817 S.W.2d 84 (Tex. Crim. App. 1991)]

Assuming that for there to be criminal jurisdiction over defendant in any particular state, due process requires some behavior by that defendant by which he should have reasonably anticipated being subject to that state's criminal jurisdiction, Texas trial court had jurisdiction over Michigan defendant in prosecution for criminal nonsupport; failure to support one's minor children was a criminal offense in Michigan, just as in Texas, and Michigan's criminal nonsupport statute on its face did not limit its reach to resident offenders so that if defendant intentionally or knowingly failed to support his minor children, whom he knew lived in Texas, he should have reasonably anticipated Texas law regarding nonsupport might be similar to Michigan law and might reach his conduct. [Ex parte Boetscher, 812 S.W.2d 600 (Tex. Crim. App. 1991)]

Challenges to Constitutionality

Criminal nonsupport statute is not subject to challenge for unconstitutionality as being an impermissible imprisonment for debt. [Lyons v. State, 835 S.W.2d 715, (Tex App. -- Texarkana 1992, no writ)]

Evidentiary Issues

A summary of child support accrued and payments received prepared by child support officer from the Attorney General’s office was hearsay since was offered for the truth of the matter asserted but was admissible as business record exception to hearsay rule. [Perry v. State, 957 S.W.2d 894 (Tex. App. -- Texarkana, 1997, no pet.)]

What constitutes “support” is evidentiary, and it is therefore not essential for notice to the accused that the definition be included in the charging instrument. [Lyons v. State, 835 S.W.2d 715 (Tex App. -- Texarkana 1992, no pet)]

Child support orders are not the sole standard of the appropriate level of support in a criminal nonsupport prosecution. This does not mean, however, that such support orders are not relevant evidence, but only that such an order is not conclusive evidence. [Belcher v. State, 962 S.W.2d 653 (Tex. App. - Austin, 1998, no pet.)]

Continuing Offense

Criminal nonsupport is a "continuing offense" committed not by any overt act but by omission or neglect and continuing so long as the neglect continues without excuse. [Belcher v. State, 962 S.W.2d 653, (Tex. App.--Austin, 1998, no pet.)]

The offense of failure to support a minor child was a "continuing offense" that is committed not by any overt act but by omission or neglect, and the offense continued so long as the neglect continued without excuse. [Ex parte Beeth, 142 Tex. Crim. 511, 154 S.W.2d 484 (1941)]


Return to Table of Contents
Revised: May 06 2010