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Grandparents' rights to see grandchildren aren't automatic

Most of our readers know that grandparents play a vital part in the life of grandchildren. Enjoying the love and care of a grandparent is something that many grandchildren enjoy. The lessons the grandparents teach can also help the grandchildren. For some grandchildren, that relationship isn't there. It is sometimes possible for grandparents to try to get visitation rights, and in some cases, custody of their grandchildren in Texas.

It is important for grandparents to know that they don't have to try to get special permissions from the court for a visit with the grandchildren if the grandchild's parent approves the visit. Both parents don't have to agree to the visit; only one has to agree. This means that if the parents are divorced, only the parent who has physical custody of the child at that time has to approve the visit.

In Texas, it is possible for the court to order periods of visitation with grandparents even if the parents don't agree. A grandparent would have to petition the court for that to happen. Without a court order, grandparents aren't afforded any automatic rights to visit their grandchildren in Texas.

There are some cases in which grandparents might try to get custody of their grandchildren. While this is possible in Texas, it is often difficult because of the burden of proof. The grandparent would have to prove that the grandchild is better off with them instead of with the parents. That isn't to say that it isn't possible, so any grandparent who is seeking custody of their grandchildren should work with someone familiar with grandparent rights that might apply to their case.

Source: TexasAccess.org, "Grandparents' Rights" accessed Feb. 05, 2015

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