Grandparent Rights in Texas

There is a unique bond between grandparent and grandchild but that bond can be strained by family upsets, divorce, or a parent who is difficult to deal with. For grandparents who are denied visitation with their grandchild, they may need to seek legal assistance to resolve the matter.

Grandparent Visitation Regulations

Nearly every state provides right to grandparents in visitations with grandchildren. These rights can even extend to custody if the parents are either unfit or cannot perform the normal or necessary parenting duties. A request for custody starts through the courts to ensure the best interests of the child. Visitations generally start before custody is given to assess the level of care the elderly can give to a youth in the transfer. The same is possible with visitation if the parents refuse to grant access to children by contacting the courts and forcing visitation.

Special Circumstances

The courts usually grant visitation automatically if certain conditions
exist. Custody is also possible in these same situations. These include divorced parents, abuse or neglect, incarcerated parents and a court order. Some situations involve the termination of parental rights which can lead to adoption or fostering the children of the marriage to others. If the child lives with grandparents for no less than six months, Texas laws can transfer custody permanently to the grandparents. While these visitation rights can provide the elderly members of the family with more time, they are not absolute rights in this state.

No Rights for the Grandparent

While there is no absolute right to visitation, the grandparents have more rights in Texas in the exceptions and in standard situations. However, these couples cannot request visitation if the youth goes through adoption to anyone other than a step-parent. There are certain limitations to these rights if an adoption closes if the parents leave the state and if the child is no longer a minor and does not want to see the couple. It is important for the grandmother and father to determine what other rights exist or have limits based on the specific circumstance.

Living with the Grandparents

There are times when the young person lives with the grandparents permanently. In these situations, it is possible for the couple to seek custody because the youth is always with the two. This can also provide access to child support if necessary. Because both parents have a legal obligation to ensure financial and medical support is available to the child, grandparents can acquire this with custody. Through acquiring custody legally in the state, the parents must pay these costs to the couple. There are additional resources to learn about these matters through the Child Support Division.

Access and Visitation

The access to grandchildren may depend on the age of their grandparents. Some parents of these youths may feel that the elderly that are over 70 may have little time or energy to run around or pay attention to little children. However, visitations and access to these youths start with communication and personal interaction. If the grandparent wants to remain in the life of the young person, he or she may need to explain this to the parents first. It is usually only when the parents cut off visitation that the problems between these parties start.

References for Visitation

The rights of the grandparent, while not absolute, are usually available in most situations. Even when the parents make these circumstances difficult, the grandparents can seek other resources such as legal hotlines for assistance that can explain what rights exist and how to proceed with gaining access to these younger children. When the elderly are of a certain age, there are references available based on the advanced age. There are organizations that can explain how to gain access to grandchildren and what rights are available in Texas. Other references can connect the elderly individual or couple to a lawyer. Depending on the situation, the grandparents may need to access a different program or reference for legal support, petitioning for visitation or to acquire custody of the grandchild affected by neglect or abuse.

Grandparent Legal Support in Texas

To express the rights of the grandparent, he or she may need to hire a lawyer to petition the courts or to gain access to a grandchild. Sometimes, the lawyer may only need to communicate the needs and wants to the parents of the grandchild rather than seek the courts’ assistance.

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Disclaimer: Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of this publication at the time it was written. It is not intended to provide legal advice or suggest a guaranteed outcome as individual situations will differ and the law may have changed since publication. Readers considering legal action should consult with an experienced lawyer to understand current laws they may affect a case.

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