There is no doubt that loving grandparents can play an important role in the lives of their grandchildren. Grandparents often serve as caregivers, mentors, and role models to grandchildren; they can also develop bonds that last a lifetime. Unfortunate circumstances in a family, such as a divorce, incarceration, or domestic violence can threaten family relationships, including those between grandparents and grandchildren.
According to the Attorney General of Texas, Ken Paxton, “Today, every state has some type of grandparent visitation law. Grandparents’ rights generally apply to the custody of a grandchild and visitation privileges.” In Texas, grandparents have the right to seek custody and visitation if it would be in the children’s best interests and they meet certain statutory criteria.
Grandparents’ rights laws vary widely from state-to-state. In Texas, a family court may grant visitation rights to a grandparent if the visitation would be in the best interest of the child, and one of the following circumstances apply:
- The grandparents’ child is incarcerated;
- The grandparents’ child has passed away;
- The grandparents’ child has been declared incompetent; or
- The grandparents’ child does not have actual or court-ordered possession of their child.
“Visitation statutes do not give a grandparent an absolute right to visitation,” says Attorney General Ken Paxton.
Grandparents Seeking Custody
There are circumstances where a grandparent may need to seek custody of their grandchild. This frequently occurs when the child is a victim of abuse or neglect, when the child’s parents have substance abuse problems, or when the child’s parents have abandoned the child.
If you are awarded custody, you should be eligible to apply for child support. Since parents are legally required to financially support their child, they will be typically required to pay you child support. If you have questions about grandparents’ rights to visitation and custody in Cypress or Katy, Texas, contact Hunt Law Firm, PLLC to schedule a consultation.