There is undoubtedly a unique and treasured bond shared by grandparents and grandchildren. But the extent to which grandparents can legally protect that bond depends greatly on the underlying circumstances.
Grandparents in Austin, Round Rock, Cedar Park, Georgetown and San Marcos may have certain rights if they are not being allowed to see their grandchildren. The question of grandparents’ rights often arises in situations where a couple has divorced and the grandchild is living with the other parent. If there are problems between grandparents and their own children, the grandparents may also be denied access to their grandchildren.
Grandparents who are not permitted access to grandchildren should speak to a family law attorney about whether they have legal options. Visitation is not guaranteed, but grandparents can petition the court in order to see if the judge will issue a court order requiring that they get to spend some time with the youth.
Grandparent Rights in Texas
Grandparents can petition for visitation of their grandchildren if:
- The child’s parents are divorced and the grandparent is not being allowed to see the kids.
- The child has been the victim of abuse or neglect by parents.
- The child’s parents have been incarcerated.
- The parents of the child have been declared to be incompetent.
- The parent has passed away.
- The parent-child relationship has been terminated by a court order.
- The child has spent at least six months living with the grandchild.
Petitioning the court to ask for visitation is not a guarantee that you will be granted it, even if one or more of these conditions are true. In order for the court to award a grandparent court-ordered visitation time, the court must believe that it is in the best interests of the child to make this decision. Grandparents will need to make a compelling argument to the court regarding why they believe it is right for them to have visitation with the child.
In some cases, grandparents want to do more than just get visitation rights for the child. There are situations where a grandparent does not feel that a parent is able to provide appropriate supervision and care. When this occurs, grandparents may petition to obtain guardianship of the child.
In order for a grandparent to be given custody, the grandparent would need to demonstrate or the court would need to determine that the parents are not fit to care for the children. Under the right circumstances, a grandparent may be awarded with temporary or permanent custody of a grandchild.
When a grandparent has been declared by the court to be a custodial parent for a grandchild, the grandparent can obtain child support from the parents. Both a child’s mother and father have a legal obligation to provide financial support and to provide medical support for their children.
Grandparents have a right to receive this support automatically whenever they are the legal custodial parents of the child on a temporary or a permanent basis.
An experienced family law attorney can provide more information on the rights of grandparents and assist you if you are not being allowed to see your grandchildren.
Contact Bertolino LLP at 512-717-5432 to schedule a consultation with an Austin, TX family lawyer today. Serving Austin and surrounding suburbs including Round Rock, Cedar Park, Georgetown and San Marcos.