Fighting For Grandparents’ Rights To Their Grandchildren
Usually, when people think about custody and visitation battles, they automatically assume any legal trouble is between the parents. However, this is not always the case. In some situations, grandparents can also lose their right to see their grandchildren.
If you are going through this challenging ordeal, one of our family attorneys at Angela Faye Brown & Associates can explain your legal options. They can help you fight for the right to be in your grandchild’s life.
Grandparents’ Rights To Visitation In Texas
In Texas, grandparents are allowed to file suits for access to their grandchildren. However, this legal process can provide more complications than other types of custody or visitation cases. This is why it is important to seek out the counsel of an attorney who has experience handling grandparents’ rights cases in Houston.
In general, the law presumes that the parent is acting in the child’s best interests if they are denying the grandparent access to their grandchild. Therefore, the burden is on the grandparent to prove otherwise. This means that it is not enough for the grandparent to show that being around their grandchild would benefit the child. Instead, they need to show that denying them access to the child would significantly impair the child’s physical health or emotional well-being.
Situations In Which A Court May Authorize Visitation To Grandparents
A court may authorize visitation of a grandchild if one of the following circumstances occurs:
- The parents of the child divorce.
- A parent neglected or abused the child.
- A parent has been found incompetent, becomes incarcerated or dies.
- A court order has terminated a parent-child relationship.
- The child has lived with the grandparent for at least six months.
It is important to note that this does not mean that the grandparent has an absolute right to visitation. It also does not mean that the grandparent can request visitation of a child who has been adopted by another family. Due to these complexities, the grandparent needs to reach out to a Houston attorney who can help them determine if they have legal rights to their grandchild.
Grandparents’ Custody Rights
If parents are unwilling or unable to fulfill their roles in raising their child, a grandchild may end up living with their grandparent. In this situation, a grandparent may be given full legal custody. However, to become a child’s legal guardian, a grandparent will need to provide specific information about the parents’ situation as well as proof that becoming the child’s legal conservator is in the child’s best interests.
This type of lawsuit is referred to as a suit affecting the parent-child relationship (SAPCR). For a grandparent to bring one, they must have had actual care, possession and control of the child for at least six months and within the last 90 days before filing the lawsuit. This includes situations where the grandparent was living with the parents and the child. One of our grandparents’ rights lawyers can ensure that someone does not have to tackle this legal battle alone.
Speak With Our Experienced Attorneys
Although many courts often start with a presumption in favor of the parent, the child’s best interests are still the standard that will decide a case. That is why, if you are seeking custody or visitation rights, it is vital to work with an experienced grandparents’ rights lawyer who can help you present a case that meets all legal requirements. For these reasons, if you believe you have a case, do not wait any longer. Contact Angela Faye Brown & Associates today and let one of our attorneys help you and your grandchildren. Call our Houston office at 713-714-3710.