Grandparent Rights Attorneys, Houston TX
In Texas, grandparents have certain rights when it comes to custody, possession, and access of their grandchildren.
Grandparents can ask the court for visitation if it will be in the child’s best interest and the parents of the child are divorced, the parents have abused or neglected the child, one parent has been put in jail, found incompetent, or has died, a court has terminated the relationship between a parent and child, or the child has lived with the grandparent for at least six months.
That is the easy part. The hard part is proving that visitation should be ordered. Texas courts have adopted the ‘harm standard,’ meaning that a grandparent asking for visitation must show to the court that the child will suffer if they are unable to see their grandparents. These cases almost always require the use of expert testimony, including child psychologists or therapists to make a determination as to ‘harm.’ The grandparent has to show, by a preponderance of the evidence, that denial of access to the child would significantly impair that child’s physical health or emotional well-being.
A common example is if the parents of the child relied upon the father’s parents for childcare frequently, and then the father tragically dies. The grandparents would be able to file a lawsuit and might prevail in showing the court that if the surviving mother cuts off access to the child, the child will suffer emotionally.
One of the most challenging issues for a grandparent is Standing which basically refers to the right to file a lawsuit in court. Generally, Texas law provides that a non-parent can file a suit for custody if they have had ‘actual care, control, and possession of the child’ for at least six months. Determining whether a grandparent can maintain a suit in Texas required tedious and careful analysis of the law with an experienced attorney.
We Have the Required Expertise to Help
If you are a grandparent in Texas who wants access to their grandchild, we can help. Grandparent rights can be difficult to obtain, but our firm can help you show the court why your grandchild will be best served with you playing an active role in their life. We will assist you in determining whether or not you have the standing to file suit and advocate for your rights to see your grandchildren.