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Collin County Grandparents' Rights Attorney

Dallas County grandparents' rights lawyer

Lawyer for Visitation and Custody of Grandchildren in Plano, TX

Grandparents often play an important role in their grandchildren's lives, including by helping parents raise and care for their children, or simply providing the children with love and support. Unfortunately, however, conflict between parents and grandparents sometimes leads to a situation in which grandparents are prevented from seeing their grandchildren. If this has happened to you, it is important to understand whether you may have the standing to pursue visitation rights, or even custody of your grandchild.

Grandparent visitation and custody petitions are some of the most complicated family law cases, and an experienced attorney can be crucial to your chances of success. At the Law Office of Brian Bagley, we represent grandparents who want to ensure their involvement in the lives of their grandchildren. We have 10 years of legal experience that we can use to help you address the challenges you are likely to face in your pursuit of grandparents' rights.

When Can Grandparents Pursue Visitation Rights in Texas?

Many grandparents' rights cases in Texas involve grandparents seeking visitation, also known as possession and access, after it has been denied by one or both of the child's parents. Texas courts typically recognize a parent's right to determine how much time their children spend with grandparents, so grandparent visitation rights will not be granted under just any circumstances. However, you may have a case for visitation of your grandchild if you can demonstrate that the child's health or well-being is harmed by denying you access. The strength of your case also depends on the status of the child's parent who is your child. Generally, for you to be granted visitation rights, at least one of the following must be true about that parent:

  • They have been incarcerated for at least the previous three months.
  • They have been adjudicated as incompetent by the court.
  • They are deceased.
  • They do not have access to or possession of the child.

Keep in mind that if your grandchild's parents are married and both involved in the child's life, it can be very difficult to secure grandparent visitation rights against their objections. Texas law also prevents grandparents from pursuing visitation when the child has been adopted by another party or when both of the child's parents have had their parental rights terminated.

When Can Grandparents Petition for Custody?

Some grandparents may wish to pursue custody of their grandchildren, rather than just visitation rights. In some cases, a grandparent may be named as a child's managing conservator, meaning that they are responsible for the child's care and important decisions about their life. However, these situations are also very limited. Texas law only allows certain parties to file a child custody suit, and a grandparent only has legal standing to do so when one of the following is true:

  • Both of the child's parents are deceased.
  • Both of the child's parents, or the single surviving parent, have consented to the grandparent filing the suit.
  • The child has been in the grandparent's actual care and possession for at least six months.
  • The child and their parent have lived with the grandparent for at least six months, and that parent is now deceased.
  • The child's current custody or living arrangements put the child's health or well-being at risk of harm.

It is a good idea to consult with an attorney regarding your legal standing before moving forward with your suit to better ensure that you have a valid case and the evidence you need to support it.

Contact a Wylie, TX Grandparent Visitation Lawyer

If you want to better understand your rights as a grandparent, or if you need representation in your suit for visitation or custody of your grandchild, we can help. Contact our office at 972-422-2424 to schedule a free consultation today. We serve clients in Wylie, Plano, Parker, Murphy, Sachse, Lucas, and throughout Collin County, Denton County, Dallas County, Tarrant County, and the surrounding areas.

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