The relationship between a grandchild and grandparent is very special. However, sometimes certain family situations or disputes with your grandchild’s parents can make it difficult for you to visit with your grandchild. Luckily, as a grandparent in Texas, you have rights. If you believe it would be in the child’s best interest to be able to see you, you can file a suit requesting visitation, or even custody.
In Texas, in order for you to be granted visitation with your grandchild, two things need to happen. First, the court needs to decide that spending time with you is in the child’s best interest. Determining “best interest” is up to the discretion of the judge. Generally, spending time with you will not be considered to be in the best interest of the child if you do not have a previously established relationship with them. Secondly, your grandchild’s situation needs to fall under one of the following categories:
- Their parents have abused or neglected them. (If you are aware that this has occurred and the child is still living with the parents, you should inform Texas Child Protective Services immediately.)
- Their parents are divorced.
- Their parent has been incarcerated.
- Their parent has been found incompetent.
- Their parent is deceased.
- The parent-child relationship was terminated by court order.
- They have lived with you for at least 6 months at any point in time.
Certain situations bar you from requesting visitation. If your grandchild has been adopted by anyone other than their step-parent, you no longer have the option to request visitation.
If your situation and the child’s situation fits the criteria, there’s no reason not to exercise your rights to be a part of your grandchild’s life. With a little guidance from an attorney, it’s fairly easy to get started.
Want to get visitation or custody rights to your grandchild?
Establishing visitation or custody rights starts with filing a suit in court. An experienced Texas family law attorney can help you navigate the paperwork and legalities. At Bobby Dale Barina, Attorney At Law, we have extensive experience with all aspects of family law, including grandparents’ rights cases. We would love to help you protect your relationship with your grandchild. Give us a call at (254) 401-0115 to learn more about what we can do to help you.