Caring for children often goes beyond parents and involves other close relatives, including grandparents. And invoking grandparents’ rights in Texas may be the best solution available in certain child custody situations.
When one parent files for divorce, it affects the entire extended family. A divorce can trigger concerns for involved grandparents that they will miss out on their grandchild’s life. If a grandparent gets along with both parents, formally invoking grandparents’ rights may not be necessary; and it’s preferable to work with the parents than to take legal action against them for a variety of reasons. When that option is no longer feasible, however, grandparents do have legal options available to them.
Grandparents and Access to Grandchildren
In Texas, grandparents may file a lawsuit requesting possession and access or conservatorship. The grandparent must prove they have “standing” to bring a claim and that the relief requested is in the child’s best interest. If you are a grandparent currently unable to see your grandchild, you can invoke your rights for visitation if you meet all three of the following criteria:
- You are the biological grandparent of your grandchild
- One parent still has not terminated their parental rights at the time of your lawsuit
- Not having access would significantly impair your grandchild’s physical health or emotional well-being
Once you clear this legal hurdle, you will also have to prove one of the following is true: the parent taking care of the child is incompetent, the parent died, the parent has been in prison for 90 days before you filed suit, or the parent doesn’t have custody of the child.
An important point to note is that in Texas, grandparents can seek managing conservatorship over their grandchild even if the parents are not divorcing. If you’ve been awarded custody as a grandparent, we’ll help you pursue an order of child support from the child’s parents.
Texas Lawyers For Grandparents Rights
There are circumstances in which Texas courts allow third party family members – including grandparents – to obtain possession of a child. At Terry & Roberts, our Brazoria County grandparents rights lawyers understand the love and concern grandparents have for their families. We will strive to achieve your desired results while minimizing any negative impact on the children involved.