What are a Grandparents Rights in a Child Custody Case in Texas?
Provided by the Houston Family Lawyers at John K. Grubb & Associates, P.C.
When a couple divorces, one or both of the parents are typically granted child custody. Parents have a constitutional right to care for their children, whereas grandparents have no such fundamental right. Accordingly, courts will typically award child custody to one of the child’s biological parents, rather than the child’s grandparents.
When Child Custody is Granted to Grandparents
However, Texas law allows for grandparents to obtain custody of a child in certain situations. A grandparent is entitled to seek custody of a child, if he or she can show that the child’s current circumstances will significantly impair the child’s physical and/or emotional development. Grandparents most often file for child custody in the following situations:
- Child neglect or abuse
- Parental substance abuse
- The parents are involved in criminal activity
- Domestic abuse
- Parental incarceration
- The biological parents are deceased
A grandparent may also be awarded child custody in an instance in which both of the child’s parents agree to the arrangement. When determining whether to award custody to a grandparent, the court will look at the best interests of the child and will consider the age, health and financial situation of the grandparent.
Grandparent Visitation Rights
Even if a grandparent is not given custody of a child, he or she may still be entitled to visit the child. While the United States Supreme Court has held that states are not permitted to create laws forcing visitation rights of grandparents and other non-parents upon the child’s parents, courts can set grandparent visitation rights depending on the circumstances. Because these rights can vary depending on each situation, it is important that you consult with an experienced Houston family attorney prior to seeking visitation or custody rights.
Assistance in Grandparent Child Custody Cases
If you are facing a situation in which you are worried about the well-being of your grandchild and you want to obtain custody or visitation rights, the Houston child custody lawyers at John K. Grubb & Associates, P.C., are available to assist you. We understand that you want what is best for your grandchild, and we will explain how the complex Texas family laws apply to your unique situation. For assistance with your child custody case, contact a Houston child custody attorney at our firm today.