As a grandparent, you are important to your grandchild. You can develop strong connections that last a lifetime. One way you can protect and maintain this bond is by establishing visitation privileges or custody rights under Texas law.
There are specific justifications that are necessary for seeking visitation or custody of grandchildren.
Possession and access
Texas law refers to visitation as “possession and access.” This refers to the right of a parent, grandparent or another caregiver to see and provide for a child. A Texas family court may award visitation to you as a grandparent if any of the following apply:
- The parents are divorced.
- You have housed your grandchild for at least six months.
- One parent has died, been found incompetent or is incarcerated.
- A court has terminated a parent-child relationship.
- The child is a victim of parental abuse or neglect.
The court will award grandparent visitation if it finds it is in the child’s best interests.
Texas law calls custody “conservatorship.” This involves making important decisions about the child, gaining access to records and talking to officials concerning the child. There are two main methods for obtaining a conservatorship of a grandchild. The first is by agreement. In some cases, one or both parents may sign an agreement to authorize custody to you as a grandparent.
The second option is to file a custody case. You can only do this if the child’s emotional development or physical health is at risk in the current circumstances or both parents are dead.
This is not legal advice about grandparent custody – it is only educational information.