A lot of people think the know what grandparents’ rights are. But a lot of people have no idea what they are. They also have no idea when they apply. Not all situations entitle you to grandparents’ rights.
In Texas, there are only certain situation in which grandparents’ rights exist. In order to qualify for visitation rights, the following requirements must be met:
- The child’s parents are divorced
- The parent either neglected or was abusing their children
- Their parent has died or gone to prison
- The parent has abandoned the child
- A judge has ordered the termination of parental rights
- The child has been living with the grandparents for at least six (6) months
You’ll notice, grandparents aren’t entitled to visitation in a normal family situation. If a couple is still married and raising their children, the grandparents can’t file a motion for visitation.
No court will order grandparents’ rights if they don’t think it’s in the best interests of the children. This concern is always paramount to all others.
If you’re fighting for grandparents’ rights, you need to call a Houston family lawyer.
Your Houston Family Lawyer Knows When the Law Doesn’t Apply
Although Texas law does provide grandparents with visitation rights, it doesn’t apply in all situations. For example, just because you’re a grandparent doesn’t entitle you to custody or visitation.
Let’s look at two examples of when the law does and does not protect grandparents’ rights in Texas.
- Your daughter and her husband have a baby. It’s your first grandchild. As much as you want to see your grandchild, your daughter won’t let you come see her. The two of you have been on the outs since you decided to marry your husband. You go to court and file a motion for visitation rights. The court will deny your petition. This is because you had no prior relationship with the child. And, none of the specific requirements for grandparents’ rights have been established.
- Your son has a baby with a girl he knew for three months before she got pregnant. Both your son and the baby’s mom have drug addiction issues. In fact, they have been in jail off and on for years. They come to you and ask you to take care of the baby while they get their act together. The child lives with you for the next nine (9) months. Then, out of nowhere, your son says they want the child back and you aren’t to see the baby again. You file a petition for visitation. The court will probably grant your motion. This is because the child live with you for some time. It also helps that the parents have drug issues and were in jail.
Can Your Houston Family Lawyer Help You Establish Custody?
There are situations where the grandparents are already taking care of the child but run into legal issues. For example, they need to take the child to the doctor or enroll them in school. To do this, you must have legal custody,
If you know where the biological parents are, this won’t be too hard. You can get them to sign consent to custody. But if you don’t know where the parents are, you are going to have a hard time getting custody.
Your Houston family lawyer can help you file a petition with the court to be named guardian. If you can’t get parental consent, you can still file for guardianship. This will allow you to take care of the child as if you were her legal parent.
Courts are more willing to order a guardianship than they are an adoption. This is because a guardianship is revocable. If the parents show up later and are ready and able to take care of their child, the court can sever the guardianship.
If You’re Looking for Grandparents’ Rights, Call a Houston Family Lawyer
If you’re seeking guardianship or grandparents’ rights in Texas, contact a Houston family lawyer. Your attorney can help you file your petition with the court. They can also help you try to locate the child’s parents.
Call and schedule your initial consultation today. The family law courts in Houston can be difficult to navigate on your own.
Retain a Houston family lawyer to help you protect your rights. They can help you do what you need to take care of your family.