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Grandparent Rights: Can I Visit My Grandchild Against Their Parents’ Wishes?

Posted on in Family Law

Texas custody attorneyMany grandparents play a crucial role in their grandchildren’s lives and in some situations, they can continue to do so even after the child’s parents have dissolved their marriage. However, this is not always true, in which case, children may be prevented by one parent from seeing their grandparents. In Texas, it is possible for grandparents to receive a court order allowing them to visit their grandchildren, although obtaining such an order can be a difficult process, especially if one of the child’s parents vehemently opposes visitation, so if you are seeking visitation with your grandchild, it is critical to contact a complex child custody lawyer who has the experience and resources to assist you.

Establishing Standing

Grandparents must have standing before visitation will be granted, which means that they must be able to prove the following:

  • They are the biological parent of one of the child’s biological parents;
  • At least one of the child’s parents has terminated his or her parental rights; and
  • They can prove that denying visitation would impair the child’s emotional or physical well-being.

In most cases, the last factor is the most difficult for grandparents to prove and it is often necessary to obtain the services of an expert who can testify as to the child’s development and specific needs.

Who Can Petition the Court for Visitation?

Once standing has been established, family law courts will still only grant visitation with a grandchild if there is evidence that visitation would be in the child’s best interests, and that the biological child of the grandparent:

  • Neglected or abused the child;
  • Has been imprisoned during the preceding 90 days;
  • Has been found by a court to be incompetent; or
  • Does not have actual or court-ordered access to their child;
  • Is deceased.

There are also certain situations when a grandparent cannot request visitation. For instance, grandparents are not permitted to petition the court seeking visitation if both of a child’s parents are deceased or have had their parental rights terminated or voluntarily surrendered. Grandparents are also prohibited from petitioning the court for visitation if a child is adopted by someone other than a stepparent.

Establishing the necessary elements is notoriously difficult in these types of cases and generally, visitation is only awarded in limited circumstances, so if you are seeking visitation with a grandchild, you should speak with an attorney before filing a petition.

Contact Our Leander Legal Team

If you have been prohibited from seeing your grandchild, you may be able to petition the court for visitation. To learn more, please contact The Law Offices of William D. Powers today and a member of our legal team will help you schedule a case evaluation with one of our dedicated Leander child custody lawyers.

 

Source:

http://www.statutes.legis.state.tx.us/Docs/FA/htm/FA.153.htm

The Law Offices of William D. Powers

8911 N. Capital of Texas Highway, Building 2, Suite 2105, Austin, TX 78759