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Grandparents’ Rights

Posted on in Child Custody

Texas child custody attorney, Texas family law attorneyThe presence of extended family members can play an important role in the life of a young child. In most cases, parents are only too happy to involve their own parents in the lives of their children. When parents restrict visitation, however, some grandparents may attempt to obtain a court order allowing visitation. Obtaining this type of court order can be an uphill battle, which makes it especially important to retain the services of an experienced child custody attorney.

Filing a Lawsuit

To request possession of or access to a grandchild, a biological or adoptive grandparent must file either:

  • An original suit; or
  • A lawsuit for modification.

In Texas, most courts will only hear a case involving grandparent visitation if visitation is in the child’s best interest. Although the custody statute does not provide specific factors to help a court determine whether visitation or custody is appropriate, there are certain conditions required to establish grandparent visitation rights, including whether:

  • At least one parent has not had his or her parental rights terminated;
  • The grandparent is able to overcome the presumption that a parent acts in his or her child’s best interest by proving by a preponderance of the evidence that denial of access would significantly impair the child’s physical or emotional well-being; and
  • The grandparent is one of the child’s parents.

Additionally, at least one of the child’s parents must:

  • Have been incarcerated during the three months preceding the filing of the petition;
  • Have been found by a court to be mentally incompetent;
  • Be deceased; or
  • Not have actual or court-ordered access to the child.

Additional Considerations

Courts may also take into consideration whether or not one of the following circumstances exist, including whether:

  • The child’s parents are divorced;
  • One of the parents abused or neglected the child;
  • A court has previously ordered the termination of a parent-child relationship;
  • The child has been adjudicated a delinquent or is otherwise in need of supervision; or
  • The child has resided with the grandparent for at least six months within two years of the filing of the petition.

Even if these requirements are met, grandparents will not be granted visitation rights if the child was adopted by anyone other than the child’s step-parent.

Contact a Complex Child Custody Attorney Today

It can be a time-consuming, expensive, and difficult process for a grandparent to obtain a court order allowing visitation of a grandchild. Having the advice of an aggressive Round Rock child custody attorney can make all the difference in the outcome of this type of case, so if you want to obtain court-ordered access to your grandchild and you live in the Austin, Round Rock, Georgetown, Cedar Park, or Leander areas, please contact Powers and Kerr, PLLC at 512-610-6199 and we will help you schedule a consultation.




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