Texas recognizes the importance of preserving the relationship between grandchildren and their grandparents when possible. For that reason, the court allows grandparents to seek visitation with or even custody of their grandchildren in certain situations.
Review these considerations if you have considered filing for legal visitation with your grandchildren.
Reasons for grandparent visitation
Texas courts can order visitation between grandchildren and grandparents in one or more of these circumstances:
- The child has resided with you for six or more months.
- The court legally terminated the relationship between the child and his or her parents.
- The child’s parents have died, gone to prison or been found legally incompetent to care for him or her.
- The child has suffered abuse or neglect.
- The child’s parents have divorced.
In addition to proving one of these factors, you must show the court that maintaining a relationship with you serves the child’s best interests.
Even in the presence of the factors above, grandparents cannot receive legal visitation in every situation. For example, if another family (not the child’s stepparent) has adopted your grandchild, the court will not order grandparent visitation.
When your grandchild lives in your home and you expect that he or she will continue to live with you, you may want to seek legal custody. If you become the child’s parent in the eyes of the court, you can receive child support to help provide for your grandchild’s medical, educational and financial needs.
Each family has a unique situation. Documenting the factors that support a strong, positive relationship with your grandchild can help increase the likelihood of obtaining visitation.