What are Grandparents Rights in Texas?
A grandparent shares a special bond with their grandchild. A grandparent’s presence can add joy to a child’s life. Unfortunately, grandparents and parents may disagree on what is in the best interest of the child.
What happens if a parent refuses a grandparent access to see their grandchild? Can the grandparent take any recourse? Worse yet, what if the parent is putting a child’s well-being at risk?
If you have had the saddening experience of being denied access to your grandchild, you need a grandparents rights attorney. Let the legal team at Mims Ballew Hollingsworth | Family Law formulate the strongest case for you in order to look out for the needs of your grandchild.
Texas Statutes Regarding Grandparents Visitation Rights
In Texas, grandparents do not have automatic access to visit their grandchildren. While the law is designed to protect parental rights, grandparents do have the ability to request visitation rights. A grandparent needs to show that granting them visitation rights would be in the child’s best interest.
According to Texas Code §153.433, the court may order reasonable possession of or access to a grandchild by a grandparent if:
- At least one biological or adoptive parent of the child has not had that parent’s parental rights terminated;
- The grandparent requesting possession of or access to the child overcomes the presumption that a parent acts in the best interest of the parent’s child by proving by a preponderance of the evidence that denial of possession of or access to the child would significantly impair the child’s physical health or emotional well-being;
- The grandparent requesting possession of or access to the child is a parent of a parent of the child and that parent of the child:
- has been incarcerated in jail or prison during the three-month period preceding the filing of the petition;
- has been found by a court to be incompetent;
- has died; or
- does not have actual or court-ordered possession of or access to the child.
Texas Statutes Regarding Grandparents Seeking a Conservatorship
In order for a grandparent to file a petition requesting custody, they must first establish standing. In law, standing means that a party has the right to bring a lawsuit to court. In order to sue for custody, the grandparent must show “actual care, control, and possession of the child for at least six months.” Simply put, the grandparent’s home must be the child’s primary residence, ending not more than ninety days before the date the petition was filed.
In Texas, a managing conservatorship allows the grandparent the same rights as a parent in making medical, educational, and mental health decisions.
According to the Texas Code §102.004(1), grandparents have the standing to pursue a managing conservatorship of a grandchild under the following conditions:
- Both parents, the surviving parent, or the managing conservator, filed the petition or gave consent; or
- The conservatorship would be necessary because the grandchild remaining in their current situation “would significantly impair the child’s physical health or emotional development.”
As a grandparent, if you are granted custody of your grandchild, you are eligible to receive child support. Both parents will be legally obligated to pay you support in order for you to comfortably care for the medical and financial needs of their child.
A Grandparents Rights Attorney Near You
As a grandparent or non-parent, your rights pale in comparison to a parent’s. Each family situation presents challenges, and it can often be in the child’s best interest to live with a non-parent. Hiring a grandparents’ rights attorney from Mims Ballew Hollingsworth | Family Law can be the first step in improving a child’s life. Contact us today to set up a consultation.