Grandparents

Grandparents Rights Lawyer

Grandparents’ Rights

It is important to hire a knowledgeable attorney if you intend to pursue any visitation or access to a grandchild.  As a general starting point, it should be noted that the United States Supreme Court has ruled that grandparents do not have a Constitutional right to see or visit grandchildren. This is based on the general presumption that since parents have an automatic right to determine the best interests of their children, they are entitled to decide who does or does not have contact with their children.

 

In Texas, grandparents rights generally refers to access or possession of a child. As long as a parent approves, grandparents can usually visit their grandchildren at any time. However, problems arise when parents restrict grandparents’ visitation or contact with the grandchildren. Since Texas law does not legally entitle them to see their grandchildren, some grandparents may choose to try and get a court order allowing visitation.

 

Getting a Court Order

Grandparents have to overcome many hurdles to get access or visitation to grandchildren over parents’ objections. The first of these hurdles is simply getting into court. Typically, courts will only hear grandparent visitation cases if a parent is:

  • Incarcerated;
  • Found mentally incompetent by a court;
  • Deceased; or
  • Not currently living with the child.

 

Also note that if the child has been adopted after both parents either died or put the child up for adoption, grandparents are not allowed to file a visitation petition.

 

Once the grandparents have gotten into court, the court may order visitation if it would be in the child’s best interests, and one of the following conditions exist:

    • The child’s parents are divorced;
    • The parents abused or neglected the child;
    • A parent has been incarcerated, found incompetent, or died;
    • A court terminated the relationship between the child and one of the parents; or
    • The child has lived with the grandparent for at least six months.

 

Renken Law Firm, PLLC has familiarity and experience in the ever changing landscape of grandparent rights in Texas.

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