When parents divorce, family law attorneys find this can sometimes affect relationships between grandparents and their grandchildren. Child custody lawyers in Texas know that grandparents do not automatically have a Constitutional right to visitation.
If visitation is denied, grandparents must appeal to the state family court to obtain visitation rights, which can be especially challenging in the State of Texas. The best way to get visitation rights to see grandchildren is through the assistance of experienced child custody attorneys who can petition the court.
Texas Statutes on Grandparent Visitation
In Texas, grandparents do not automatically have the right to see their grandchildren. Access can be granted or restricted by the custodial parent, whom the courts presume will act in the best interest of the children. If you are a grandparent, child custody lawyers may assist you to petition for visitation rights if certain relationship conditions between you and the parents exist.
If these conditions do exist, family law attorneys stress that you must then meet the requirements of the "harm standard," which suggests the children will be harmed if access to a grandparent is denied.
Qualifying to Request Grandparent Visitation Rights
To request visitation rights, a grandparent must be the parent of the party with primary custody or the parent of a party who is incarcerated, has been found to be incompetent, or is deceased. You may not request visitation rights if both parties have had their parental rights terminated, are both deceased, if the child is in the custody of child protection services, or if the child has been adopted.
Based on these very specific requirements, child custody attorneys advise their clients that in most cases, the Texas family court prefers to leave the situation for the grandparent and the parents to work out on their own without court intervention.
Proving Harm to Obtain Grandparent Visitation Rights
When a grandparent meets the above qualifications and family law attorneys agree they have the right to petition for visitation, the main hurdle is meeting the harm standard. You and your child custody lawyers must be able to prove that restricting grandparent visitation will be harmful to the child in some emotional or physical way.
You must be able to provide adequate reasoning to go against a parent’s denial of visitation and insistence that this is not in the child’s best interest. Unfortunately, the simple fact that a grandchild misses a grandparent and asks for them is not considered a valid reason.
You and your child custody attorneys must prove some type of neglect, show that the grandchild has lived with you for an extended period of time and has developed a stronger relationship, or provide some other reason to dispute the parent’s refusal to allow visitation.
Family law attorneys understand that grandparents can play an important role in the lives of their grandchildren. If you have been denied access to your grandchild, you should seek the assistance of experienced child custody lawyers who can help. Child custody attorneys present the strongest cases to the family court to help deserving grandparents obtain the right to visit with their grandchildren!
Foreman Family Law
309 North Washington Avenue, Suite 12
Bryan TX 77803