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Austin Grandparents’ Rights Attorneys

Grandparent Custody & Visitation Rights in Texas

It is possible for a grandparent to obtain custody or rights of access to his or her grandchild, but it is extremely difficult. The Texas Legislature passed several laws limiting the rights of grandparents to rare and special circumstances. These circumstances may include child abuse and/or neglect, family violence, drug and alcohol use, or other situations which place your grandchild’s physical safety or emotional well-being in danger.

If you believe that your grandchild’s physical health or emotional well-being is impaired, you should consult with an experienced Austin attorney to determine your rights to your grandchild. Stinson Moyle, PLLC has experienced attorneys and staff, and we will help you achieve what is best for you and your grandchild.

Give us a call at (512) 948-3688 to discuss your custody rights and options as a grandparent.

Can I Get Custody of My Grandchild?

Obtaining custody of a grandchild is very difficult. In Texas, a grandparent can request custody of a grandchild when the grandchild’s safety is in danger. Texas Family Code provides that a grandparent can file a lawsuit for custody of his or her grandchild if the grandparent can show that the request for custody is necessary.

A grandparent must prove that custody is necessary because:

  • The child's present circumstances would significantly impair the child's physical health or emotional development; or
  • Denying the grandparent access to the child would significantly impair the child’s health or emotional well-being; and
  • The grandparent is the parent of a parent of the child who has been imprisoned, found incompetent, does not have custody of the child, or is deceased.

Can I Get Visitation With My Grandchild?

In order to have standing to seek visitation with your grandchild in Texas, you must prove the following conditions exist:

  1. You are a biological parent to the biological parent of the child in question;

  2. At least one biological or adopted parent of the child has not terminated his or her parental rights;

  3. You can prove that denying visitation will greatly impair the child’s physical or emotional health.

Generally, the last factor, proving that without visitation the child’s physical or emotional state will suffer, is the hardest to prove. You will likely need to employ the services of a professional to testify as to your positive impact on the child. In addition to meeting the three requirements above, you will need to show one of the following circumstances exist:

  • The parent is deceased;

  • The parent has been incarcerated for 90 days or more before filing of the visitation action;

  • The parent has been found incompetent in a separate lawsuit;

  • The parent does not have actual or court-ordered custody of the child.

Reviewing the case law, visitation has typically been awarded to grandparents in Texas under very limited circumstances. In most cases, the court presumes that the grandparent should pursue access to the child through the living parents. Evidence that could tend towards an award of visitation may include proof that the child lived with the grandparent for a considerable amount of time, evidence the child’s parents are abusive or negligent, or, at times, an older child’s stated desire to spend time with the grandparent. Any grandparent who wants to obtain visitation or custody of a grandchild should consult with a grandparents’ rights attorney as soon as possible.

Can I Sue for Visitation With my Grandchild in Texas?

Grandparents often play an important role in their grandchildren’s lives. At times, circumstances arise in which a grandparent has been prevented from visiting with their grandchild. Every state has some type of grandparent visitation law, though the extent of the law varies widely by state. In Texas, it is difficult but not impossible for grandparents to receive an award of visitation with their grandchild against the parent’s wishes. Our Austin, Texas grandparents’ rights lawyer at Stinson Moyle, PLLC discuss grandparents’ rights laws in the state below.

To get started, call (512) 948-3688 and arrange a confidential consultation and review of your case.