Do grandparents have a right to custody in Texas?

| Feb 8, 2021 | child custody & support

There are times when grandparents step in and play a major role in their grandchildren’s lives. If you believe that your grandchildren are struggling in their home due to neglect or abuse, you may petition for custody. Similarly, if one parent passes away, you may seek visitation rights, so you can continue to see them regularly.

In most divorce cases, grandparent visitation rights are kept informal. It’s not typical for grandparents to be restricted from seeing their grandchildren. However, legal issues could arise in some cases. That’s why it’s smart to clarify your relationship with your grandchild and to make sure that you have the legal rights that you are entitled to receive.

Are grandparents likely to get custody of their grandchildren?

In divorce cases, it’s unlikely that grandparents will receive outright custody of their grandchildren. As long as both parents are providing for them, grandparents may only be able to seek to establish a visitation order. To do this, you will have to show that visitation time with your grandchild is in your grandchild’s or grandchildren’s best interests.

Texas’s laws do allow grandparents to seek custody of their grandchildren if they believe that doing so is in their grandchildren’s best interests. Texan courts will authorize visitation or custody in some circumstances, such as if:

  • The child previously lived with the grandparent for at least six months
  • A court order previously terminated the child’s relationship with a parent
  • The child was neglected or abused by their parents
  • One parent has passed away
  • The parents divorced

There are some restrictions on when a grandparent can seek visitation. For example, if your grandchild is adopted by someone who is not your child’s stepparent, then you will not be able to seek visitation rights.

Your attorney can help you put together a case for custody if you’d like to pursue it based on your own child’s divorce, the neglect of your grandchild or other reasons. If your home is truly the best one for your grandchild, then seek custody. Otherwise, visitation rights may be possible if you have a strong case to present.