Generally, any person could apply and potentially serve as a guardian of a minor child unless the court finds that one of the following exceptions applies to the applicant.
Since more than one person will often be both qualified and willing to serve as a guardian of the minor, Texas courts will give priorities to
certain persons depending upon the circumstances. The priorities differ depending upon circumstances of the case.
Parents are the natural guardians of minor children's person, but as to minor's estate, the court will appoint one of the parents if the parents do not agree, based on which is better qualified if the parents live together or based on the child's best interest if the parents do not live together. In the case of a minor with only one living parent, that surviving parent will be appointed guardian of the minor's estate.
Generally, the minor's grandparents are given priority, then great grandparents, followed by next of kin. If more than one qualified person within the same priority level applies to be guardian for the minor, the court will choose the person based on the best interest of the minor child. If no member of the minor's family is willing and qualified, the court will appoint another qualified person.
Notwithstanding this, if the minor's last surviving parent, by will or written declaration designates a person to serve as guardian, the court will appoint that person so long as the person is otherwise qualified, is willing to serve as guardian for the minor child and such appointment is not contrary to the child's best interest.
Notwithstanding this, if the minor child is at least twelve years of age, the minor may select a guardian so long as the court finds that the person selected is competent and suitable and that the appointment of the selected person is in the minor child's best interests.