Do grandparents have rights in Texas?

Grandparents play a role in their grandchildren's lives, but not every situation allows them to do so. The state has set guidelines to help grandparents to retain their rights.

For many families, it is important to include grandparents in the lives of grandchildren. Having this extended family connection is valued. However, there are many times in families when something happens to prevent the grandparent and grandchildren from interacting and being in each other's lives. When something happens, grandparents may seek legal help to regain their rights to see their grandchildren. The state of Texas has specific laws and regulations about this type of situation, which are helpful to know before heading to court.

Grandparents vs. parents

When there are issues with grandparents seeing their grandchildren, it often is a result of problems between the parents and grandparents. If a parent refuses to allow a grandchild to see a grandparent, there is little that can be done in most situations. The Texas State Law Library explains that the state takes the stance that parents make decisions they feel are best for their children. So, if a parent thinks contact with the grandparent is not good, then the state will almost always back that decision.

However, a grandparent may have some ability to fight this decision. If he or she can show that the child is harmed by not having contact with him or her, the court may rule in favor of visitation rights.


Complex situations

Sometimes the denial of rights is not because of the parent simply refusing the rights. These are complex situations where a grandparent may have more of an ability to seek visitation. The Attorney General of Texas explains that grandparents may have grounds for requesting visitation rights if the situation involves abuse, neglect, parental incarceration, divorce or termination of parental rights.

It is important to note that when a child is placed for adoption, the grandparents' rights are also terminated. Grandparents have no say at all in an adoption case, and there is no recourse in an adoption for grandparents to gain visitation rights unless it is a stepparent adoption.

In addition, grandparents must remember that the court will always rule in favor of what is best for the child. If the court does not feel having the grandparent in the child's life is a good thing that will positively impact the child, it will likely rule against the grandparent.

Seeking grandparents' rights can be a highly charged situation. It requires legal knowledge and skills to win such a case. If you are fighting for your rights, consider contacting an attorney, such as Roland R. Esparza, P.C.