You are on the right track in the sense that you absolutely must get some orders in place. If he is taking good care of her, on the basis or her having been with her father for 2 years, particularly as the end result of voluntary relinquishment of actual possession of her, he is likely to be named the primary conservator in a contested hearing and, if so, you would have to pay him child support based on your income.
No matter what outcome you get, you would have a court-enforceable right to spend time with your child.
You can contact the Houston Bar Association for free legal help or you can contact the Texas Legal Services Center (www.tlsc.org) for a referal to an attorney who will take your case at a substantial discount.
The Houston Bar Association might be able to help you find a low-cost provider if you contact them.
If this does turn into a custody battle, it is likely that he ends up with primary custody, as he has taken care of the child for 2 years, and then you would be obligated to pay child support. Another option is to wait until he files... unfortunately, he can probably get the OAG's office involved to provide free help in setting up child support...
This answer is intended for informational and educational purposes only and should not be considered legal advice nor forming the attorney client relationship. This attorney is licensed in Texas.
Mr. Daley is right - depending on the facts, you might have opened yourself up to be named as the non-custodial parent. However, that doesn't mean you have no hope. You need to speak with an attorney asap - the longer you allow him to have primary possession, the greater the possiblity that you will end up as the non-custodial parent. And even if the does name your ex as the custodial parent, you still want in order in place that details your legal rights and duties. Best of luck.
This answer is intended for informational and educational purposes only and should not be considered legal advice nor constituting an attorney-client relationship. This attorney is licensed in Texas.
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