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Key points about grandparents' rights in Texas

Divorce can be very tough on grandparents. They don't have a say in the couple's decision, after all, but they could lose the ability to see their grandchildren. It's important for them to know what rights they have in Texas. A few key points are noted below.

-- Grandparents can get visitation rights if one of the parents is incarcerated, incompetent, or deceased.

-- Grandparents can also get visitation rights if the parental rights of one of the parents have been terminated.

-- If the parents are divorced, grandparents can get visitation in cases where the child has been neglected or abused.

-- They can also get visitation if the child has been living in the grandparents' residence for a minimum of six months.

-- Furthermore, visitation can be granted for children who need supervision, perhaps because the child is a legal delinquent.

-- If a child is adopted by another family, any visitation rights that a grandparent has are eliminated. The exception to this rule is when a step-parent is the one who is adopting the child.

Of course, there are many cases in which divorced parents may still be happy to let grandparents visit when they would like, so they don't always have to go through the courts to find out what rights they have. However, when there are complications or grandparents fear they will no longer be allowed to see their grandchildren, it's wise for them to know what legal rights are on their side. It's also important to know what steps to take to make sure that these rights are not violated.

Source: American Grandparents Association, "Grandparent Rights: State by State," accessed July 29, 2016

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