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What are your rights as a grandparent?

| Nov 9, 2020 | Child Custody |

As a grandparent, you likely play an important role in the life of your grandchildren. In some situations, however, your grandchild’s parent or parents may try to keep you out of his or her life. While decisions regarding who a child can and cannot interact with generally fall to the parents, state law allows circumstances in which a family law court may see fit to order visitation with your grandchild.

Understanding your rights as a grandparent may help you preserve and protect the relationship you share with your grandchild.

Visitation with your grandchild

According to the Attorney General of Texas, family law courts may order visitation for grandparents. You cannot seek custody of your grandchild in any circumstance, though. The court may only order visitation in the following situations:

  • Your grandchild has lived with you for six months or more
  • Your grandchild’s parents divorced
  • A parent abused or neglected your grandchild
  • A parent died
  • The court terminated the parent-child relationship, sentenced a parent to incarceration or deemed a parent incompetent

To make such a decision, the court considers if such circumstance exists and whether the relationship and contact between you and your grandchild suit the child’s best interests.

Custody of your grandchild

If your grandchild lives with you, you may choose to seek custody of him or her. Through this action, you may gain access to rights including not having your grandchild taken away at the whim of his or her parents, for example. If the court sees fit to award you custody, you may apply for child support from one or both of your grandchild’s parents.