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What are my rights as a grandparent in Texas?

Many Americans throughout the country, including residents from the Dallas, Texas, area, cherish the relationship they had with their grandparents as a child. This bond between grandparent and grandchild oftenadds to the wellness and plays a role in a child's upbringing. When it comes to child visitation and child custody however, it is often very difficult for a grandparent to obtain the rights to see or care for a grandchild.

Although there are a few unique and specific situations where a grandparent or grandparents are able to obtain custody of their grandchild, this is not easy, especially in Texas. Generally speaking, child custody is typically awarded to one parent, or both parents when the courts award shared custody, unless there is an exceptional circumstance that warrants consideration for a grandparent to obtain custody. Even in such circumstances, history has proven it is still very difficult.

In situations where both parents are either deceased, missing, or in a vegetative state, it is easier for a grandparent to obtain custody of a grandchild. Otherwise, a grandparent may have to prove that the parents are unfit and could put a child at risk or harm. This could be proven if a parent has a criminal felony conviction, a history of drug or alcohol abuse, or if the parent is a threat to cause harm to a child.

In order for courts to grant child custody to a grandparent, they will consider several factors, all geared towards protecting the best interest of the child. They will look at the current relationship as well as history with the child, the relationship between the grandparent and the parents, as well as the emotions such as love and affection shared between the grandparent and parents. It could be a long difficult road if you are a grandparent seeking child custody. You may want to speak with a law firm to learn the best way to proceed.

Source: Texas State Law Library, "In Face of Reduced Rights, Here's How to Advise Grandparents on Family Law Issues," Accessed May 1, 2017

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