As a loving and involved grandparent, you know how important it is for you to have bonding time with your grandchildren.
When your grandchildren’s family situation changes, you may lose those precious moments with your youngest relatives that can negatively affect their growth and development.
In Texas, grandparents have the right to petition the family court for custody and visitation privileges under certain circumstances:
- A family court judge has terminated the parent-child relationship
- The child has lived with the grandparent(s) for six or more months already
- The parents or guardians have neglected or abused the grandchild
- The parents are incompetent, pass away or go to jail for at least three months
- One or both parents try to isolate the children from the grandparents during a divorce
If your grandchild lives with you, you may have a good case for full custody and child support. However, if someone other than a legal stepparent adopts your grandchild, you cannot request visitation.
Applying for grandparents’ rights
If your family structure is changing significantly, and you worry about being able to spend quality time with your grandchildren, you have the opportunity to step in and provide necessary support. Courts recognize the value of close family relationships, and they often grant requests to modify and enforce custody and visitation when it serves the children’s best interest. You will need to provide evidence of your bond with the children.
You cannot control everything in your family, but you have the right to protect the little ones in your life who have very little say in what happens to them when their world falls apart.