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What are my rights as a grandparent in Texas?

Grandparents want to spend time with their grandchildren. Most of the time, the grandparents can play a valuable role in the child's upbringing. There are some instances in which parents and grandparents don't see eye-to-eye about the grandparent spending time with the grandchild or that the grandparents simply aren't given the opportunity to have a relationship with their grandchildren.

A grandparent who isn't being allowed to spend time with their grandchildren might want to know his or her legal options. Review these points to find out more about grandparent's rights in Texas.

Do I have the right to visitation?

Grandparents in Texas don't have absolute visitation rights for grandchildren. If your grandchildren were adopted by a stepparent, you might seek visitation; however, if someone else adopts the child, that isn't possible.

Does the court ever order visitation for grandparents?

It is possible for the court to order visitation for grandparents. The visits must be in the child's best interest. In addition, one of the following conditions must exist in the case:

-- The child has lived with the grandparents for six months

-- The parents are divorced

-- The court terminated parental rights

-- The parent neglected or abused the child

-- The parent has died

-- The parent is incarcerated

-- The parent was found incompetent

In addition to filing for visitation, grandparents can seek custody of grandchildren. As is the case with visitation, it must be in the child's best interests. Because the laws are complex for grandparents' rights, anyone who wishes to exercise these rights should find out how their case will fall under the laws so they can make an informed decision.

Source: The Attorney General of Texas Ken Paxton, "Grandparents' Page," accessed April 13, 2017

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