As a biological relative, grandparents have certain rights to their grandchild. Naturally, the extent of those rights are driven by the circumstances. Oftentimes, grandparents need to step in as the caretaker of a child; other times, the grandparent is being barred access to a grandchild, sometimes due to a bitter divorce. Whether these scenarios are prompted by death, incarceration, illness, or any variety of circumstances, there are certain grandparents’ rights in Texas that can be upheld by a court of law.
When Are Grandparents’ Allowed to Request Access to a Grandchild?
It is not unusual for grandparents’ to become the primary caretakers of their grandchildren. While the courts issue judgements on a case-by-case basis, there are some broad precedences concerning grandparents’ rights in Texas that help guide the decision.
There are a few things that a grandparent should consider before petitioning for custody of a child or visitation rights. First, the grandparent must be a biological parent of the parent of the child. Furthermore, the parent themselves must be either dead, incarcerated, deemed incompetent by a court of law, or have had their parental rights terminated for a grandparent to be able to stake a claim for conservatorship.
Adoption by other parties is also an obstacle to claiming grandparents’ rights. If the child has been adopted by a stepparent, then the grandparent may still request access to the grandchild. Conversely, grandparents’ do not have that liberty if the child has been adopted by a third party. Grandparents also may not gain access to a grandchild if the biological parents have signed an affidavit handing over custody to another person or agency.
Establishing Grandparents’ Rights In Texas
While the burden of proof lies on the grandparents, there are several ways to gain visitation rights or custody of grandchildren. Generally, the petitioning party needs to show that denying access to the grandchild would be detrimental to the child’s wellbeing.
Family attorney Ashley J. Scott has the experience and resources to help grandparents assert their role in a grandchild’s life. Please call 713-255-2097 to discuss your options.