What rights do grandparents have in Texas?
Grandparents play a crucial role in the lives of many children in Texas. In many cases, grandparents take over caring for grandchildren when the child’s parents cannot or do not want to take care of the child themselves.
Unfortunately, Texas law does not afford grandparents the legal standing to ask for child custody or visitation rights in state courts. However, it is possible for grandparents to ask the court for custody rights in some situations.
The most important issue in all child custody matters, including cases involving grandparents asking for custody or visitation, is the best interests of the child. The judge presiding over the matter will weigh many factors in effort to determine what is truly best for the child. The wishes of the grandparents and even the child’s parents take a backseat to what is perceived to be best for the child.
For these reasons, it is vital for grandparents seeking custody or visitation to work with an experienced family law lawyer who can study the facts of the case in light of the current law and, if possible, help show the judge that the arrangement sought by the grandparents would be best for the child.
Once a judge has ordered a formal custody or visitation order involving the child and the grandparents, that order is backed by the law and the parents must honor it.
When termination of parental rights or adoption is possible, it’s extremely important for grandparents to act quickly. Once the child’s parents have terminated parental rights or the child has been adopted it is too late for the grandparents to ask for custody or visitation.
A skilled family law lawyer can help explain this complex and sensitive area of law and advise grandparents as to what their options are. For more information on this topic, please see our Grandparents’ Rights page.