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Grandparents’ Rights in Texas

Grandparents' Rights in Texas

Unfortunately, difficulties often arise when raising children. Whether the circumstances were avoidable or unforeseeable from the perspective of the parents, sometimes other family members feel the brunt of one or both parents’ issues with each other. One casualty of divorce is when a parent does not allow the child to see their grandparents as a result of discord at home.

Grandparents have a special role in families, perhaps second only to that of the parent-child relationship. When divorce occurs parents can genuinely feel hurt to the point where they feel the need to protect themselves and their children. When I speak with a potential client of the Law Office of Bryan Fagan, PLLC and they have question about grandparents’ rights in Texas the conversation that we went into isn’t always an easy one to digest.

What are Grandparent Rights in Texas?

The state of Texas, like all other states, have specific laws that outline the extent to which grandparents have rights to visit with and have possession/access of their children. In today’s world where the nuclear family isn’t so nuclear anymore this isn’t surprising. What is surprising to many is how our state comes down on this issue. There are laws in the state that related to child custody and their grandparent(s) while others apply generally to adults of all sorts but do not necessarily exclude grandparents.

Texas has Strong Pro-Parent Rights

In Texas, our laws are strongly pro-parents’ rights. This means that even if grandparents do not approve of how mom and dad are handling the kids, it does not mean that they can file a lawsuit and interrupt the relationship between parents and their children. It is a presumption that parents are acting in the best interest of the children in basically all circumstances, absent issues of abuse, neglect and other extreme fact patterns.

Grandparents can Establish Rights in Certain Situations

Grandparents' Rights in Texas

Grandparents don’t inherently have access rights to their grandchildren. Courts intervene under certain detrimental family circumstances, such as a parent’s death, imprisonment, family violence, or loss of parental rights.

I recall a case involving grandparents seeking access to their grandchildren. Their son was imprisoned for a sex crime, leaving the children with their mother, who opposed the grandparents’ involvement. The situation worsened as their son, now in prison, disengaged from his parents, leaving the grandparents without support in connecting with their grandchildren.

Months of isolation led the grandparents to our firm. Discussing their frustrations, we explored their rights in Texas. Despite their slim chances, we advised legal action.

They pursued a lawsuit in Harris County, leading to mediation with the mother’s attorney. Our firm advocates mediation, as demonstrated in this case. While not fully achieving their initial goals, the grandparents negotiated a visitation schedule with the children’s mother, fostering a renewed relationship with their grandchildren.

This case highlights the potential for grandparents to gain access rights under challenging family dynamics, especially with legal guidance and mediation.

What can Grandparents do to Help their Case?

To bolster grandparents’ cases, we first advised them to meticulously document their concerns and queries. This practice enabled our team to swiftly and effectively address their needs. Moreover, we emphasized the importance of demonstrating a strong, pre-existing relationship with the grandchildren. A well-established bond could significantly influence the children’s mother, potentially averting a prolonged court battle by presenting compelling reasons for visitation rights.

While outcomes can never be guaranteed by any attorney, including those at the Law Office of Bryan Fagan, PLLC, effective communication and preparation can mitigate lengthy and expensive legal proceedings, often leading to early settlements. Grandparents face an uphill battle in securing visitation, particularly if opposed by one or both parents.

For further information about grandparents’ rights or any family law matter, please reach out to the Law Office of Bryan Fagan, PLLC. Our dedicated attorneys and staff are eager to meet and understand your unique legal situation, offering tailored guidance and support.

Final Thoughts

In conclusion, Grandparents’ Rights in Texas are a nuanced aspect of family law that balances the interests of grandparents, parents, and children. While grandparents do not have automatic rights to access or custody, Texas law provides avenues for them to seek visitation or custody under specific circumstances.

Legal guidance, mediation, and a demonstrated bond with the grandchildren are key factors in these cases. As family dynamics evolve, understanding and navigating these rights remain crucial for grandparents seeking to maintain a relationship with their grandchildren.

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