As a grandparent, your grandchildren are an important part of your life. And when divorce occurs, it can be devastating to face losing your time with them. Although grandparents don’t have a Constitutional right to visit their grandchildren, there are some basic rights you can exert to gain visitation or custody, depending on specific circumstances.
Grandparent Visitation Rights
If a child’s parent approves, you can visit your grandchildren any time you desire. Yet, parents can also restrict your visitation rights. If this happens, you’ll need to ask the court for help. According to Texas law, the court may grant visitation if it’s in the child’s best interests and if one of the following conditions exist:
- The parents are divorced
- A parent abused or neglected the children
- A parent has been incarcerated or found incompetent
- A court order terminated the parent-child relationship
- The child has lived with you for at least six months
If the child has since been adopted by someone other than the child’s step-parent, you’re unable to request visitation.
Can a Grandparent Gain Custody of Their Grandchildren?
The short answer is yes. In some situations, a child’s parent may decide it’s in the child’s best interest to live with you. If that’s the case, the parent can simply sign all rights over to you. This gives you the ability to make critical decisions on behalf of the child.
If the parent won’t consent to signing over the child’s rights, you have the right to sue for custody, also known as conservatorship. There are many reasons why you may choose to seek custody in this manner. For example, the child’s parents may have substance abuse issues or be unable to provide adequate care.
If you wish to seek custody of your grandchildren, we recommend reaching out to a family law attorney who can help. The custody process is often challenging, especially for grandparents.
Reach Out to Us for Help Understanding Your Rights
Schneider Law Firm, P.C. offers years of qualified experience to grandparents in Texas who wish to establish visitation or obtain custody. To learn more about grandparent rights, give our Arlington office a call at 817-799-7125 or send us a message.