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Can I seek visitation rights as a grandparent?

As a grandparent, you cherish your relationship with your grandchild as special and different than any of your other close relationships. When divorce or separation enters the picture for your grandchild's family, it is wise to make sure you understand what rights you do and do not have to continue interacting with the grandchild. In Texas, grandchild visitation rights may be available, depending on a number of factors.

In order to claim visitation rights, you should petition the court to issue an order granting you visitation. In order for this to occur, your grandchild's circumstances must meet at least one of the qualifying standards.

  • Is the child abused?
  • Are the child's parents divorced?
  • Are one or both of the parents incarcerated or deceased?
  • Has a court order officially terminated the parent/child relationship?
  • Did the child live with the grandparent for at least six months?

While visitation rights are not guaranteed, they are certainly worth fighting to obtain. It is worth noting that grandparent visitation is generally not granted if the child is adopted by someone other than a step-parent.

In some cases, if the grandchild lives with you, it is possible to pursue custody of the child. Should you win custody of the child, you may be eligible for child support payments, just like any other parent.

If you have concerns about your ongoing ability to spend time with your grandchild, seek help immediately. You can consult with an experienced attorney to identify a strong strategy for retaining and strengthening your relationship to the grandchild you love while protecting your own rights.

Source: The Attorney General of Texas, "Grandparents' Page," accessed Sep. 01, 2017

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