Bellaire Grandparents’ Rights Lawyers Assisting Families Dealing With Grandparents’ Visitation and Custody Issues
Grandparents often play an important role in the lives of their grandchildren. From lending a helping hand and caring for grandkids while the parents are away, providing emotional support and religious guidance, to passing down family traditions, having a strong bond with grandchildren is essential for many grandparents. But what happens when you are suddenly cut off from having contact with your grandchildren? Our attorneys explain what rights grandparents have under Texas law and what your options are to seek visitation rights in court.
Do Grandparents Have Any Rights to See Their Grandchildren in Texas?
In Texas, grandparents do not automatically have visitation rights but are given the option of petitioning the court when appropriate. The state understands that a parent has the right and responsibility to determine what is best for their child, and that extends to making decisions regarding who gets to visit or contact the child.
If family relationships have gone sour and a grandparent is no longer allowed to visit the grandchild, the grandparent can petition the court to grant visitation privileges or modify an existing visitation order. However, the grandparent will need to provide solid reasons to demonstrate that the visitation is in the child’s best interests and that cutting off contact would harm the child’s emotional or physical well-being.
When Can Grandparents Seek Custody of Their Grandkids?
A few special circumstances may prompt grandparents to petition the court for custody of their grandchildren. When a parent can no longer meet the child’s basic needs for emotional and physical well-being, a grandparent can file a request for custody as a part of an existing custody case brought on by the parents or by the state. Grandparents do not have the same legal rights as parents and cannot initiate an original custody suit, only request custody if there is already an ongoing case.
Generally speaking, the courts will consider a grandparent’s request for custody when the child’s physical health and emotional well-being are in danger, such as when a parent is incarcerated, found to be addicted to drugs or alcohol, or is being abusive to the child. Cases like these are extremely complex and require the help of a skilled grandparents’ rights attorney, as the law tends to be less favorable towards awarding custody of a child to the grandparents unless it is proven that granting custody is in fact in the child’s best interest.
Can I Still Visit a Grandchild That Has Been Put Up for Adoption?
When parents offer a child up for adoption, they are legally giving up all their parental rights. Because grandparents’ rights are directly connected to parental rights, once a child is adopted, the biological parents (and grandparents) of that child no longer have any visitation rights, with very few exceptions (such as when a child is adopted by a stepparent).
If a grandchild is adopted by a stepparent, grandparents do not automatically gain visitation rights but can petition the court for visitation rights. The burden of proof is the same – the grandparents will need to convince the court that cutting off visitation would go against the child’s best interests.
How Can a Grandparents’ Rights Attorney Help Me?
If you have a grandchild with whom you have a strong bond, having your visitation time cut off by the parents can be very upsetting. If you are considering taking legal action to be granted visitation time with your grandchildren, having a skilled family law attorney on your side is essential. Your attorney can help you build a strong argument in your favor explaining to the court why you should be allowed to see your grandkids.
In cases where you may be seeking custody of your grandkids, your family attorney can assist you in navigating the intricacies of the law and help you have better chances of a successful outcome. If you have questions about your rights as a grandparent or need legal help, contact our Bellaire, TX office to discuss your case at no charge.