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What Rights Do Grandparents Have in Texas?

Grandparents can play a vital role in children’s lives throughout their youth and into their adulthood. Although young adults can decide to spend time with their grandparents as often as they want, they may not get to talk with or see their grandparents as much as they could while they are still minors. If the parents have reduced or ended your interaction with your grandchild, you have legal solutions to remedy this situation.

Those options typically require you to establish that your involvement in the child’s life was beneficial to them. If you are unsure of what your options are, speaking with a reputable family law attorney who specializes in grandparents’ rights can help determine what you can do to restore your relationship with your grandchild.

What If the Parent Cuts Off Communication and Visits?

If your adult child does not want you to interact with your grandchild anymore, or under stricter conditions, Texas law gives the parent the authority to decide who spends time with their child and under which circumstances.

Understanding what caused the change of heart and/or the rift should be your first focus. In such cases, working on mending the relationship with your adult child is usually the way to go to get to communicate with and visit your grandchild again.

If your relationship with your adult child degraded due to abuse, neglect, substance disorder, or other related issues, you should however consult a lawyer. If you have reasonable ground to suspect that your adult child cannot take adequate care of your grandchild, you may pursue legal action to ensure their well-being and regain access and possession.

Petitioning for Visitation and Access as a Grandparent

Although mending relationships outside of legal proceedings should be your choice of action whenever possible, the state law permits Texan grandparents to file for access and possession to be able to communicate and visit their grandchild. They need to demonstrate that their relationship is beneficial to the child and that the reduction or ending of interaction causes harm to the child.

Your family law attorney can walk you through the steps and the types of evidence you need to provide a judge to secure a positive outcome, whether you are seeking a court order for access and visitation for the first time or are petitioning for a court order modification.

Seeking Custody of Your Grandchild in Texas

In certain circumstances where the grandparents already are extensively involved in the child’s life, like providing housing or taking them to various activities, including school, they may seek to obtain custody, known as conservatorship in Texas. This can especially happen if the child’s parents are absent, incarcerated, or have an addiction issue. It may also happen if the parent experiences a life-changing medical problem that significantly reduces their ability to care for the child.

In some situations, the parents had their parental rights terminated or voluntarily gave them up, in which case the grandparents may petition to gain custody. The parent’s death may also lead grandparents to take legal action to permanently care for the child.

No matter the circumstances in which you want to obtain custody of your grandchild, the burden of proof is on you. This is why working with an attorney is especially important in this type of case. You need to prove why the parent is no longer able to care for your grandchild and how you becoming their legal guardian is in their best interest. This can be especially challenging in situations where the parent is hard to locate if they have abandoned your grandchild.

Trust Cynthia Tracy, Attorney at Law, P.C. to Advocate for Your Grandparents’ Rights

If you need to exercise your grandparents’ rights to communicate and see your grandchildren, or even to gain custody of them, working with a reputable family law attorney is important. At Cynthia Tracy, Attorney at Law, P.C., we bring our extensive and current understanding of Texas laws and statutes to protect your rights and serve your grandchild’s best interests.

Our team can review your situation and recommend options to achieve your goals. We can help you with a wide range of grandparents-related matters, including visitation, custody, and even child support. Our staff members are dedicated to supporting families in Houston and its surrounding areas and helping you and your grandchildren maintain healthy and positive relationships.

Do you need an experienced family law attorney to protect your grandparents’ rights? Contact Cynthia Tracy, Attorney at Law, P.C., today at (281) 612-5443 to schedule a consultation in Houston!