Grandparents’ Rights

by Martha Akers

We all know that children love spending time with their grandparents. We all also hope that parents properly raise and nurture their children, and that they provide for all of their children’s needs. In a perfect world, grandparents would be allowed to spend time with their grandchildren and, after spoiling them, grandparents would return their grandchildren to their parents. Today’s world is far from perfect.

The law rightly presumes that children should live with their parents. The United States Supreme Court has ruled that parents are presumed to act in the best interests of their children, even when they do not allow grandparents to see the children. The Supreme Court’s ruling makes it difficult, but not impossible for grandparents to ask for visitation with or custody of their grandchildren.

The Texas Family Code gives grandparents the right to ask a judge for visitation or even primary possession of children in the following situations:

  • The child has been neglected or abused by a parent
  • The child’s parent has been incarcerated
  • The child’s parent has died or been deemed incompetent
  • The parents don’t have custody of the child
  • The child has lived with the grandparent for at least six months

Parents are responsible for raising their children and for making decisions for their children. If in the process of doing so, parents endanger or hurt their children, grandparents have the right to ask the court to protect the children. In those unfortunate situations, grandparents can ask the court for custody of the children and/or to order visitation.

If you have any questions about grandparent rights, please do not hesitate to contact us.

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