A question that many family attorneys receive is about grandparents rights and what they are in Texas and they are the first to admit that grandparents visitation and custody rights are tricky topics.
If you are a grandparent and have concerns about your grandkids or feel that your right to a relationship with grandkids is being violated, the best place to begin is by reaching out to a family law attorney who can discuss the situation with you.
You may have the right to intervene in some cases, but it is not advisable in others.
Do Grandparents Have Rights In Texas?
This is a rather difficult question to answer.
Technically, grandparents rights laws in Texas provide grandparents with the ability to intervene with their grandchildren in very few instances.
The family court always assumes that parents will raise their children in whatever way they see as being most appropriate, including making decisions on whether or not children are allowed to see their grandparents and develop relationships with them.
Yet when circumstances exist outside of what is normal, grandparents and their family law attorneys may have instances when they can challenge what is happening with their grandchildren.
It all depends on the individual situation.
Can Grandparents Gain Custody of Their Grandchildren?
There are two situations when grandparents could gain custody of their grandchildren:
- When the parents relinquish custody to them for some reason.
- When the grandparents sue for custody rights.
The former can sometimes happen when a parent or parents recognize that they cannot raise their child appropriately or they name grandparents as guardians in case they pass away.
The latter can happen when grandparents can prove that their grandchild is in danger and should be removed from the custody of the parents, although it is a less-common occurrence.
The biggest question in these situations is determining whether children truly are being endangered and if grandparents should seek that custody.
Watch the following video from a board-certified family law attorney who addresses these big "if" questions:
Can Grandparents Do Anything When Denied Visitation?
The other circumstance where grandparents rights and the ability to exercise them tend to come into question is when grandparents feel they are being denied visitation or cut off by the parents.
Unfortunately, this is a very tricky situation that must be approached very cautiously.
Family law attorneys find that overall, if there is no ability to prove that the child is in danger and intervention is necessary, the court is not going to side on the behalf of the grandparents.
Attempting to sue the parents for grandparents custody rights usually only serves to make the situation worse for the grandparents.
Talk To A Lawyer About Grandparents Rights In Texas
It can be extremely upsetting when grandparents are prevented from seeing their grandchildren or circumstances are such that grandchildren could be in danger.
In these cases, the best thing that anyone can do to uphold their grandparents custody rights and protect the child is to speak to a lawyer about it first.
An experienced family law attorney can advise whether it is a situation that requires intervention and, if not, discuss other ideas that could help.
Texas grandparents do have some grandparents rights; however, it is important to understand the limitations of those rights and when legal action is necessary and helpful.
Schreier & Housewirth Family Law
1800 West Bowie Street, Suite 200-E
Fort Worth TX 76110
Gregory L. Housewirth is a Board-Certified Family Law Specialist practicing in Fort Worth Texas. With 30 years of family law experience, Mr. Housewirth has represented hundreds of clients in divorce, custody, CPS, modification, and grandparent cases. In addition, Mr. Housewirth is a qualified family law mediator and a member of Collaborative Law Texas, a practice group dedicated to promoting collaborative divorce in Texas.