What Rights Do Grandparents Have for Visitation or Custody?
When it comes to grandparent rights in Texas, there are two typical questions that are asked:
- Can grandparents have visitation rights?
- Can grandparents get custody?
There is generally a presumption in Texas custody cases that it is in the best interests of the child that the child’s parents (not grandparents) have custody of the child. Additionally, Texas gives great deference to parents to make decisions for the best interests of the child. So, if the parents make the decision to cut a grandparent out of the child’s life, the State of Texas typically will not get involved.
However, there are always exceptions. Experienced Texas family lawyers can answer questions regarding what rights are available. For instance, if the grandparents have had actual care, custody, and control over a child, a grandparent may have the ability to seek visitation or even custody. Additionally, if a parent poses a significant risk of harm to the child, a grandparent may also seek custody.
Grandparent rights cases can be particularly fact specific- meaning each situation is different. There is no hard-and-fast rule that says a grandparent is guaranteed visitation rights or custody under a particular set of facts. Ultimately, a Texas family law judge has to make a decision that is in the best interests of the child.
It is also important to know how a particular court will approach grandparent rights cases. For instance, there are three family law judges in Tyler, Texas, and each approaches grandparent cases differently.