There is no doubt that grandparents can have a positive impact on their grandchildren’s lives. Grandparents can provide unconditional love, support, companionship, life lessons, and so much more to their grandchildren, which can last a lifetime.
Each state has enacted some type of law that addresses grandparents’ rights, but the laws vary widely from state-to-state. In Texas, the term “grandparents’ rights” refers to a grandparent’s right to seek custody or visitation privileges. If you believe it would be in your grandchild’s best interests to seek custody, you do have the right to ask the court.
Seeking Visitation of a Grandchild
If it’s visitation you are seeking and not custody, a Texas court may approve your request under any of the following circumstances:
- The parents have obtained a divorce;
- The parents abused your grandchild;
- The parents neglected your grandchild;
- The parent has been in jail or prison;
- The parent has been found incompetent by a court; or
- The grandchild has lived with you for at least six months.
Please note that in Texas, grandparents do not have the right to request visitation when their grandchild has been adopted by someone who is not their stepparent.
When Grandparents Seek Custody
Has your grandchild been living with you? If so, you may want to seek custody of him or her. If the court awards you custody, you have the right to ask for child support. As with other states, under Texas law both parents are legally obligated to financially support their child. They are also required to provide medical support for their children. If the court awards you custody, both of the child’s parents will be required to pay you child support.
If you have questions about your rights as a grandparent in Texas, contact an attorney from our firm. We can be reached at (832) 210-1698.