There are a few different ways that grandparents can attempt to gain rights to their grandchild in Texas.
In order to see the child, grandparents must have approval from one of the parents. If both parent’s object to visitation, the grandparents can petition the court for visitation rights.
The grandparent must generally prove that the parent intends to completely deny the grandparent from having possession of or access to the child. If proven, the grandparent must prove that at least one of the following is true about the grandparent’s son or daughter who is the parent’s child: 1) the child’s parent has been incarcerated for at least 3 months; 2) the child’s parent has been declared incompetent; 3) the child’s parent is deceased; or 4) the child’s parent does not have actual or court ordered access to the child.
Generally, if a grandparent has had possession of a child for at least six months, they can file suit within 90 days for possible conservatorship (custody) for the child or children. However, a grandparent will need to overcome the presumption that a parent who is fit, can act in their children’s best interests.
When a parent has custody of a child, and a grandparent has not had possession of the child for at least 6 months, the grandparent needs to prove that the child’s physical health or emotional well-being would be significantly impaired if the grandparent’s possession or access were denied.
Another way grandparents most frequently get standing to gain access to their grandchildren is through temporary orders. Sometimes when parents have problems with drugs, alcohol, or other issues, they need to temporarily leave their child or children with their parents. In instances like this, grandparents can file for temporary orders. Some Courts will allow temporary orders to last up to a year. Then assuming the parents become stable enough to care for their child or children, custody can be given back to the parents. If contested by either of the child’s parents, the grandparents must prove that the child will be significantly impaired if the grandparents were not given access/custody.
Due to the possible complications that come along with Grandparents rights, we recommend consulting with one of our experienced Dallas family law attorneys.
Call our office at 214-559-7202 or contact us online to schedule a consultation with a family law attorney today.