When a couple chooses to get divorced, grandparents may wonder if it will impact their relationship with their grandchildren. This worry is not unfounded. After particularly contentious divorces, they may have less interaction with their grandchildren than they did before. Or they may be unable to visit them for important holidays and birthdays. Yet grandparents have rights too!
Grandparents hold a special place in a child’s heart. Yet, divorce has the power to disrupt this cherished relationship. As the family structure shifts and evolves, grandparents may find themselves left behind and without the grandchildren they love.
Fortunately, Texas courts acknowledge the significance of maintaining grandparent-grandchild connections after a divorce. There are ways to protect these rights, and an experienced Houston family law attorney can help.
Recognizing the significance of these relationships, Texas law acknowledges the role that grandparents play in the lives of their grandchildren. The concept of “grandparents’ rights” refers to legal provisions enabling grandparents to seek visitation or custody of their grandchildren. While the law strongly emphasizes parental rights, it also acknowledges the benefits of continued involvement of grandparents, especially when it is in the child’s best interest.
The Texas Family Code addresses grandparents’ rights and the role of grandparents in providing emotional support, stability, and valuable life experiences. While the law respects parents’ decisions regarding the upbringing of their children, it also creates space for grandparents to advocate for their role in their grandchildren’s lives.
Texas law allows grandparents to pursue visitation or custody rights when they meet specific criteria. The court’s primary concern is the child’s well-being. Any decision they make regarding grandparents’ rights will be made with the children in mind. If maintaining a grandparent relationship is in the child’s best interest, the courts may award visitation or even custody in extreme cases.
For example, if a grandparent has been actively involved in a grandchild’s life, providing consistent care and support, the grandparent might seek visitation rights.
Grandparents can seek court-ordered visitation if it is deemed in the child’s best interest and at least one of the following conditions is met:
For grandparents seeking custody, the bar is set higher. The court will consider granting custody only if it can be proven that the child’s current living situation significantly endangers their physical health or emotional well-being.
In cases where a child’s safety is compromised due to parental neglect or abuse, grandparents may file for custody. Similarly, if the courts terminate a parent’s rights, a grandparent can offer to step in and provide the child with a stable home environment.
If you wish to assert your rights as a grandparent, you must show how your involvement benefits the child’s physical, emotional, and psychological well-being to get visitation or custody. You can do this by gathering evidence of your relationship with your grandchild.
Talk to the child’s parents to see if you can find common ground. This is often the best and most amicable way to continue being part of your grandchild’s life. If you can’t agree, you might consider mediation as a way to reach a solution. If mediation does not work, you may need to petition the court to assert your rights.
If your case goes to court, you must be prepared to show evidence demonstrating your commitment to the child’s welfare. Be prepared to address questions about your relationship with the child and your ability to provide a stable environment.
While this process might seem daunting, you do not have to go through this alone. An experienced Houston divorce attorney can help you achieve the best possible outcome and remain in your grandchildren’s lives. Grandparents’ rights cases can be complex, involving legal battles and emotional complexities. A family law lawyer with experience handling grandparents’ rights cases can uphold your rights and the child’s best interest.
At Moving Forward Divorce Lawyers, our Houston family law attorneys understand how important grandparents are in their grandchildren’s lives. We work tirelessly to protect grandparents’ rights and do what is in the child’s best interest at every turn. supporting children through this challenging process.
We know that divorce affects everyone in the family. That’s why our lawyers work to protect everyone that matters most to you. Call us at 713-589-4748 or fill out our confidential contact form to learn more about your legal options.
Thomas H. Smith III was born and raised in Arlington, Texas. He graduated from Texas A&M University in 2002 with a degree in Chemistry and a minor in Mathematics. He then attended the University of Houston Law Center where he served as an Articles Editor for the Houston Journal of International Law. Read more here.
You should seek the assistance of an experienced Texas family attorney who is familiar with the laws and can fight on your behalf for the things you want out of your divorce.
It is always a good idea to consult with an experienced Houston divorce attorney at Moving Forward Divorce Lawyers when going through a divorce. Filing the right paperwork and petitioning the court takes time, experience, and skill. If you make a mistake, you will lose money and valuable time. This could impact your future significantly. Call us at 713-589-4748 or fill out our confidential contact form to schedule a free consultation and learn more about your legal options.