The rights of parent custody laws are more frequently discussed than the child custody laws for Grandparents. However, grandparents have child custody rights that need to a discussion, too. It’s often the case that both parents of a child are unfit for child care. In that case, the child’s grandparents would like to gain custody. Though grandparents have child custody rights, they’re limited compared to the rights of both parents. If you’re deciding to take custody of a grandchild, it’s important to have the knowledge of Texas law. Plus, you need to know what you must do to gain custody.
Child Custody for Grandparents: Obtaining Custody
Texas does support child custody for grandparents in some circumstances. In particular cases, a grandparent may want to gain full custody of a grandchild if both biological parents are seen as unfit to care. Child custody is a broad term for taking on legal responsibility for a child. The specific type of custody grandparents can apply for the court calls managing conservatorship.
Grandparents can implement managing conservatorship even if two parents of a child have not gone through a divorce. Managing conservatorship allows grandparents to have many rights. This includes the ability to make legal decisions regarding a child’s schooling, religious instruction, and home. To apply for managing conservatorship, a grandparent must be able to prove that they have a deep connection with their grandchild as well as one of four things.
One situation is to prove that their grandchild was physically or emotionally abused. Another is that the biological parents agree for the grandparents to take custody. It can also happen if the grandparents have cared for the child for six continuous months or the child’s parent lived with the grandparent for six months. It’s also possible for grandparents to intervene in an ongoing child custody case as well. If a child’s parents are going through a divorce or locked in a child custody battle, a grandparent can intervene. This should only be done if they would like to obtain custody before either become final.
Options Other Than Going for Custody
The more you hear about getting child custody for grandparents, the more you may start to think that it seems like it may create a divide in your family. While this may be true in some cases, there is no lawsuit requirement. While it is a rare circumstance, some parents may give a grandparent child custody on their own volition. The parent of a child can do this willingly by going to a family court. From there, the parent can give the power of attorney over their child to a grandparent.
With the power of attorney, grandparents can function similarly to having full custody of a child. This is because the power of attorney allows for a grandparent to make legal decisions similar to having full custody of a child. However, power of attorney can be revoked by the parent at any time. This makes it one of the least desirable ways for a grandparent to start taking care of their grandchild.
Child Custody for Grandparents: Visitation
Child custody for grandparents covers a wide range of legal actions that grandparents have in order to ensure the safety of a child. Many grandparents would like to know they will see their grandchild after a divorce. With this being the case, Texas has implemented visitation laws for grandparents. In the state of Texas, the court views both sides of a family coming together for a child as a good thing. However, Texas also favors that a child lives with one of their biological parents rather than their grandparents.
Though divorces can be a tumultuous time, the state of Texas believes a child’s grandparents should be able to visit a child after the child’s parent’s divorce. In a perfect setting, a grandparent won’t need to utilize their legal rights to see their grandchild. However, establishing visitation times after a divorce may be necessary. In this case, grandparents can file a lawsuit that will enable them to have scheduled visitation hours with their grandchild.
Grandparents will often win this case if they meet three of the following criteria. First, the grandparent is biological. Second, a parent hasn’t terminated their parental rights. Third, the grandparent can prove they are a significant factor in their grandchild’s life. If a grandparent can meet the situations, then he or she can argue one of four cases. They must argue that the parent with custody is incompetent, a parent has died, a parent was in jail for 90 days, or the parent doesn’t hold custody of a child.
Stipulations on Visitation to Be Aware Of
While child custody for grandparents may be difficult to obtain, the legal system of Texas advocates for grandparents who would like to participate in visitations. Unfortunately, in the state of Texas visitation rights aren’t guaranteed by law. Though a grandparent may have a visitation rights, Texas prioritizes a parent’s right to choose who their child does and doesn’t get to see. Because of this, you may find yourself in a situation where a parent doesn’t want you to see the child. At that point, you cannot take any legal action to grant access to your grandchild.
In this case, the best course of action is to reconcile with the parent who has custody of your grandchild. Though it may seem difficult, it may be possible to mend bonds by being positive. You can try asking why the parent may not want you to come in contact with their child. It’s important to remember that what’s best for the child may be to take a step back and become less involved in the child’s life at the wishes of the parent. It’s also important to remember that legally the parent is in the right. If you disobey their orders, they can take legal action to prevent you from ever being able to see your grandchild again.
Family Attorneys Can Make the Process Easier
The struggle to gain custody of a grandchild you love can be a difficult one. We at Cross Family Law value the safety and health of all children. We can provide you with a family law attorney to either gain custody of your grandchild who you love or establish a visitation schedule after a grandchild’s parents’ divorce. It’s necessary to have a good family law attorney advocating for you in these difficult times. We are here to help you—no matter the situation.