Grandparents frequently develop remarkably close relationships with their grandchildren. When divorce, death, or family tension interfere with that bond, it could be a tragedy for the children.
If you have been denied visitation with your grandchildren, you could take legal steps to regain your access to them with help from a dedicated family attorney at our firm. A Pflugerville grandparents’ rights lawyer at Angela Faye Brown & Associates could explain the law, describe your legal options, and advise you on the next steps to restore your relationship with your grandchildren.
Many grandparents believe they have a right to a relationship with their grandchildren. Sadly, that is not legally the case. Parents’ rights to decide who may associate with their child supersedes a grandparent’s right to see their grandchild over the parents’ objection.
However, Texas Family Code §153.433 permits grandparents to seek visitation with their grandchildren under certain circumstances. The law says a court may order reasonable contact between a grandparent and a grandchild over a parent’s objection if the grandparent could prove that denying them access would harm the child’s physical or mental well-being. A grandparent also might secure access to the grandchild if the grandparent’s child, who is the grandchild’s parent, is:
In any petition to gain visitation time with grandchildren, a grandparent must prove that contact with them is essential for the child’s wellbeing. The mere desire to remain in contact with a grandchild is insufficient grounds for a court to order visitation in the absence of other factors.
In any legal matter involving children, the child’s best interest is the critical factor judges use to reach a decision. Determining a child’s best interest is fact-specific, and a judge can consider any information they believe relevant, but the child’s physical safety, emotional well-being, and opportunities to maintain significant relationships are always important factors.
Grandparents must understand how courts apply the best interest standard because a court will only grant a grandparent the right to visitation or custody if it is in the best interest of the child. The grandparent must affirmatively establish that contact with the grandparent enhances the child’s health and well-being. A Pflugerville grandparents’ rights attorney could assist a grandparent in collecting evidence that their relationship furthers the child’s best interest.
In some cases, however, even if a grandparent could prove that visitation benefits the child, the grandparent has no right to seek visitation. Grandparents lose the rights to their grandchildren if a court terminates the biological or adoptive parent’s parental rights. If a biological or adoptive parent relinquishes their parental rights, the grandparents lose their rights also.
Grandparents could seek managing conservatorship of their grandchildren in certain circumstances. Managing conservatorship gives the grandparent physical custody of the child and allows them to enroll the child in school, consent to medical treatment, and make other important decisions concerning the child.
Parents sometimes will consent to allow a child to live with their grandparents. If the parent does not consent, a grandparent could petition a court to award them custody. In these cases, a Pflugerville grandparents’ rights attorney must prove that remaining in their current home endangers the child such as by presenting convincing evidence of abuse, neglect, or other dangerous conditions.
Grandparents also could intervene in a custody proceeding to assert a right to possessory conservatorship. A possessory conservatorship gives the grandparent the right to visitation and to participate in decision-making concerning the child.
Being denied access to your grandchildren is a heartbreaking situation. It could be devastating if you are worried about the children’s physical safety and mental health.
A Pflugerville grandparents’ rights lawyer could help you understand your legal rights and guide your steps to help restore your relationship with your grandchildren. Call Angela Faye Brown & Associates today to schedule a consultation.