You're a Grandparent- What rights do you have in Texas?

In most families, grandparents and grandchildren have close relationships that are encouraged by the parents of the children. Grandparents are seen as persons to be respected and emulated. Their life lessons are ones that draw families together and allow for perspective and advice to be shared in a loving and caring environment. Unfortunately, not all family situations are like this.

Some grandparents find themselves with all the willingness in the world to love their grandchildren but the parents will not allow it to occur. Maybe you find yourself in this type of sad and frustrating situation and you’d like to know what your rights are as far as being able to spend time with your grandchildren.

The attorneys with the Law Office of Bryan Fagan represent family law clients across southeast Texas and among those clients are grandparents like yourself. If you have never attempted to navigate the courts system in Texas or if you’ve never even thought about filing a lawsuit before this blog post will highlight some pertinent laws in Texas when it comes to grandparent rights. With shifting family dynamics in our nation and in our state, grandparents’ impact on children have never been more important.

How to pursue custody of your grandchildren

If you have any familiarity with Texas family law then you know that judges approach all issues associated with children by using the “best interest of the child” standard. Judges evaluate child support, living arrangements, possession and access of children by deciding what would be in the best interest of the children. In some situations it is an easy decision to make, in others the decision is a more difficult one at which to arrive.

Forget all of that for a moment though. You’re a grandparent. You’ve raised children yourself and have a good idea of what is in the best interest of children- specifically your grandchildren. If you’ve observed them being mistreated by their parents or otherwise are being put in situations where their physical or mental well being is at issue you may have arrived at a decision where you’ve determined that you need to attempt to gain custody of your grandchildren. Going about this, however, is not a simple process. I would imagine that many of you reading this blog post are at the point where you’ve realized that you need to hire a lawyer to help you achieve your goals. Let’s talk about the goal of winning custody of your grandchildren.

The short answer is that it is possible to win custody of your grandchildren in Texas. It is definitely not an easy process and the laws in our state are designed to give overwhelming support to parents and assumes that parents are making decisions that are in the best interest of their children absent evidence to the contrary. The facts and circumstances of your case need to be just right in order to have a better than fair chance to win custody. If you are not able to provide sufficient facts and evidence to a judge as to why you are a better candidate to provide continuous care for your grandchildren than are your grandbaby’s parents then you will not be able to succeed in your custody goal.

What do you need to prove to a judge in order to win custody of your grandchildren

First, you as a grandparent must be able to establish that allowing the children to remain in the care of their parent(s) would significantly impair their physical health or emotional development. You cannot go to court on feeling or an assumption and expect to win custody as a grandparent. You can definitely file a case, go to court and talk to the judge but your odds of success are very, very low. There must be circumstances that allow you to establish with the court that the present environment is so detrimental to the growth and development of the children that an alternative living arrangement must be sought. Examples that a court may find sufficient to award you custody as a grandparent is if the parents are engaging indrug or alcohol abuse in front of the children. If one or both of the parents are leaving the children unsupervised for long periods of time or are physically abusing them these are other examples of fact patterns that may be sufficient for you as a grandparent to win custody of your grandchildren.

If you win custody of your grandchildren- what should you do next?

If you proceed with a legal case and win custody of your grandchildren, congratulations. You’ve overcome the odds and in doing so have helped your grandchildren immensely. An important next step is to order certified copies of the court order that has named you as the primary conservator of the grandchildren. You will need this document to enroll the children in the school zoned to your home, find them a doctor to see and enroll them on your health insurance or in Medicaid.

If you have just read this last sentence and thought that you’re already been trying to do all those things on your own with great difficulty because you don’t have the rights and duties of a conservator, then you should definitely pursue a formal arrangement with the court that allows you to have the right to do these sorts of things for your grandchildren.

Questions on visitation of your grandchildren?

If you have questions regarding visitation of your grandchildren if you are being denied the opportunity to do so by the children’s parents then you will want to read through the blog post set to be posted tomorrow by the attorneys with the Law Office of Bryan Fagan. Somewhat surprisingly, the requirements to gain court ordered visitation are different than custody and it is important to understand what you’re up against in that area as well.

The attorneys with the Law Office of Bryan Fagan are available six days a week to speak with you about your particular family law situation and to answer any questions you may have. A consultation with one of our licensed family law attorneys is free of charge and can help you to set the course for achieving whatever desired outcomes you have in mind.

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Other Articles you may be interested in:

  1. Grandparent rights in Texas: Visitation and Preparing for a case
  2. Custody and Visitation Rights of Grandparents in Texas
  3. Grandparents' Rights in Texas
  4. Grandparent Visitation Rights in Texas?
  5. Grandparent Rights, Standing, and the Parental Presumption
  6. How Does Summertime Visitation Work for Divorced Parents in Texas?
  7. How does summer visitation work?
  8. 10 Quick Tips About Parental Visitation
  9. When Your Child's Extended Family Wants Visitation in Texas
  10. Supervised Visitation in a Texas Divorce: Can it happen to me?

Law Office of Bryan Fagan | Houston, Texas Divorce Lawyers

The Law Office of Bryan Fagan routinely handles matters that affect children and families. If you have questions regarding Divorce, it's important to speak with one of our Houston, TX Child Divorce Lawyers right away to protect your rights.

Our Divorce lawyers in Spring TX are skilled at listening to your goals during this trying process and developing a strategy to meet those goals. Contact Law Office of Bryan Fagan by calling (281) 810-9760 or submit your contact information in our online form. The Law Office of Bryan Fagan handles Divorce cases in Houston, Texas, Cypress, Klein, Humble, Kingwood, Tomball, The Woodlands, the FM 1960 area, or surrounding areas, including Harris County, Montgomery County, Liberty County, Chambers County, Galveston County, Brazoria County, Fort Bend County and Waller County.

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