Child custody, Family Law

Grandparent Visitation Rights in Texas

Posted by brian on September 9, 2019
Round Rock Family Law attorney

There is no federal law that guarantees grandparents’ rights in the United States. Although grandparents can petition for the right to visitation with their grandchildren, it is ultimately up to the discretion of the court, which is always guided by the best interests of the children involved. If you are a grandparent who has lost visitation rights or who fears that your ability to spend time with your grandchildren is in jeopardy, consult with an experienced Round Rock family lawyer today. 

Legal Precedence 

While there is no statute guiding grandparents’ rights, there is a legal precedent in the form of case law in Troxel v. Granville. The decision in this case emphasizes that, while grandparents’ rights to visitation are important, their rights are not as important as the parents’ rights to make decisions for their children. In the end, a grandparent’s right to visitation is considered appropriate only when it is in the best interests of the grandchildren and when it does not negatively affect the children’s relationships with their parents. This case leaves state courts with the presumption that parents who do not want their children to spend time with their grandparents probably have valid reasons for this decision. 

Grandparent Visitation in Texas

Like other states, Texas must adhere to federal precedent. As such, grandparents’ visitation rights are well established, but the grandparents in question must effectively make the case that such visitation is beneficial to the grandchildren. There are specific instances when a grandparent’s request for visitation may be granted, including:

  • When the grandparent’s child (the parent of the grandchildren) has been incarcerated for more than three months, has been deemed mentally incompetent, has died, or has not been in the children’s lives recently.
  • When the grandparent can demonstrate that the children will be physically or emotionally harmed if they are denied visitation. 

To exercise your right to visitation with your grandchildren, the burden of proof regarding their best interests is yours, and you want the right family attorney on your side.

The Bond between Grandparents and Grandchildren 

The meaningful bond that typically forms between grandparents and their grandchildren is well established. Grandparents are generally a symbol of love, security, safety, warmth, and kindness to their grandchildren. Further, grandparents often represent a lifeline to the parents when it comes to helping out with the kids. All told, grandparents can play an important role in their grandchildren’s lives. When a grandparent’s visitation rights are thwarted, it can be devastating to both the grandparents and the grandchildren. 

If You’re Concerned About Your Right to Grandparent Visitation, An Experienced Round Rock Family Lawyer Can Help 

As a grandparent, your relationship with your grandchildren – and the time you spend with them – is precious to you. If you have lost your visitation rights or fear that you might, the  dedicated family lawyers at Jackson Law Firm in Round Rock, Texas, have the skill, commitment, and compassion to help. For more information, please don’t hesitate to contact or call us at (512) 528-1900 today.

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