Being a grandparent is one of the most rewarding experiences in life. You get to witness your children grow, mature, and start their own families. Not to mention, being an active grandparent has been shown to improve overall physical and mental health. However, in certain circumstances, parents may choose to restrict grandparent access with children. Furthermore, it is not uncommon in divorce situations for grandparents to feel like they are losing involvement in their grandchildren’s lives.
We here at Calfas Law Group, PLLC know how important it is for you to have a role in your grandchild’s life. That’s why we dedicate ourselves to explaining the visitation rights that exist for grandparents in Texas. Keep reading to find out more about how you can maintain your involvement in your family and their life.
Are There Federal Visitation Laws for Grandparents?
The short answer is that no federal laws are existing for grandparents’ visitation rights. However, the Troxel v. Granville case determined that there is value in grandparent visitation. Yet, its final assertion was that parental rights are critical and override those rights of the grandparents. In the courts, if parents can demonstrate how grandparents are interfering with the rearing process or negatively impact the children, they will adjust visitation requirements.
After the Troxel v. Granville case, the courts no longer automatically assumed that grandparent visitation was in the child’s best interest. However, this does not mean that grandparents cannot have visitation rights. Each state has developed its unique approach to grandparent visitation rights, including Texas.
Judges in family court understand the value of keeping families together. However, they also acknowledge that sometimes family ties are cut in times of life-changing events, such as divorce. In Texas, grandparents can petition for visitation rights if they feel as though it is necessary to continue their relationship with their grandchildren. Several specific circumstances qualify for petition:
- If the parents are separated or are in the process of divorce
- If the parents never married or one parent is absent
- If one or both of the parents have passed away
- If the child does not reside with their parents
- If the child has been adopted
However, the grandparents must also prove that the child’s physical or emotional will suffer without visitation. This is key for achieving visitation rights. For example, a grandparent could have been a large part of their grandchild’s life, caring for them for large amounts of time. However, if a biological parent restricts visitation rights and the grandparent cannot make their case, the courts will rule in favor of the parent(s).
Sometimes grandparents become the primary guardians of their grandchildren. Meaning that they become responsible for all child-rearing aspects of their grandchildren’s lives. In Texas, there are two main scenarios in which grandparents can sue for sole conservatorship:
- The child’s condition is negatively affected by their current circumstances.
- The parents or current guardians may deem it more appropriate for the children to live with their grandparents.
San Antonio Family Law Attorneys
If you are worried about your visitation rights with your grandchildren, visit us at Calfas Law Group, PLLC. We look forward to helping you protect your visitation rights and understand the importance of your relationship with your grandkids.
Schedule a consultation with us (210) 405-8315 to discuss your grandparents’ visitation rights case.