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What Legal Rights Do Grandparents Have?

Sometimes grandparents are restricted access to their grandchildren. Which could be because the child lives a great distance from them or because one or both parents have denied the grandparents visitation.

In Texas, Grandparents can bring parents to court to request visitation or full custody under certain circumstances.

Most reasons for a grandparent seeking visitation rights are due to the family situation. Grandparents can pursue visitation if:

  • the biological or adopted parents have passed on;
  • the child’s parents are divorced, separated, or were never married;
  • one of the child’s parents has disappeared for over 6 months;
  • the child has lived with the grandparents for at least 6 months; or
  • there is a significant existing relationship between the child and grandparent.

Acting in the Child’s Best Interest

Aside from the above-mentioned grounds, a grandparent must also show that the child will suffer emotional harm if separated from them. A court will always rule in favor of what it deems to be in the child’s best interest. As such, the court’s decision will take into consideration whether separation from the parents would negatively affect the child’s emotional well-being.

The grandparent must prove the:

  • existing relationship is significant;
  • grandparent previously acted as a primary caregiver to the extent that the child’s needs would not be met without them;
  • child could suffer substantial harm without this relationship;
  • child wishes to maintain a relationship with their grandparents;
  • child has special needs only the grandparents can provide for;
  • parents abuse the child and/or substances.

Establishing Custody

A grandparent has the right to establish custody of their grandchild if they can prove the child would be better off in their care. The best interest standard must still be relevant if a grandparent is looking to establish custody.

Fighting for Your Grandparental Rights

Cynthia Tracy, Attorney at Law, P.C. understands the importance of familial relationships. Our attorneys have extensive experience with all matters concerning grandparents’ rights. We will do everything in our power to help you maintain your relationship with your grandchildren.

Call our firm today at (281) 612-5443 or contact us online to schedule your consultation.