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​​​GRANDPARENTS' RIGHTS

Our office represents grandparents, and others, whose goal is to protect the best interest of the child. At the Law Office of A. Green, our office focuses on placing children at the core of every decision because ultimately children are the most important party to a legal dispute involving child custody. We encourage you to seek legal advice to protect your rights and avoid any unexpected issues during the legal process. 


Managing Conservator
Grandparents seeking managing conservatorship or visitation with a child will be responsible for making important decisions on behalf of the child. Grandparents seeking to be awarded managing conservatorship of the children must establish standing and prove, the appointment of the parents as managing conservators would not be in the child's best interest because the

appointment would significantly impair the child's physical health or emotional development, and one of the following:


  •  The grandparents had actual care, control, and possession of the child for at least six months, and at least 90 days prior to filing the original suit the grandparents had possession of the child; or
  •  Both the child's parents have lived with the grandparents for at least six months, and at least 90 days prior to filing the original suit the child and the parents lived with the grandparents; or
  •  Both the child's parents, the surviving parent, or the managing conservator have either filed a suit for the grandparents or they have agreed that the grandparents should be named as the child's managing conservator. ​​


Grandparents' Visitation/Possessory Conservator 

Grandparents seeking possessory conservatorship or visitation with a child will be responsible for making important decisions on behalf of the child. Grandparents do not have an absolute right to visitation. Texas allows the child's parents to raise their children as they wish, as long as the parent's actions are in the best interest of the child. However, grandparents can ask that a court name them as the possessory conservator of their grandchild if visitation is in the best interest of the child, the grandparents have had significant past contact with the child and the denial of access would present an emotional or physical danger to the child , at least one of he child's parent's parental rights have not been terminated, and one of the following circumstances exists:


  • The child's parents are divorced or have been living apart for at least three months;
  • The child's parents abused or neglected the child;
  •  The grandparent's child has been incarcerated for at least 3 months;
  •  The grandparent's child has been found incompetent;
  •  The grandparent's child has passed away; or 
  •  A court-order terminated the grandparent's child's parental rights; 


Intervening Only

​Under the circumstances listed above, grandparents can only file an intervention into a pending suit affecting the parent-child relationship.


File Suit

However, grandparents can file an original suit requesting possessory conservatorship if the child has lived with the grandparents for at least six months during the past two years. 


Merely Regular Access 

Grandparents who do not want to be responsible for making important decision on behalf of the child, and merely want regular access to the child can ask that the court grant them access if:

​​

  • At least one of the parent's rights has not been terminated by a court order;
  •  Access is in the best interest of the child;
  • The grandparent's child has been incarcerated for at least 3 months; has been found incompetent, or the has passed                away; and
  • Denial of access between the grandparents and the child would significantly impair the child's physical health or emotional development. ​​


FAQ

What does standing mean?

Standing is a legal term that is used to show that the person has a right to bring the suit before the court and they can assert the rights that they may have. Texas Family Code Section 102.003(a)(1)-(14) list those who may have standing.


If I am awarded the managing conservator of the child can I get child support for the child?

Yes, if you were awarded the managing conservator of the child then you can request child support from the parents. The child's parents have a legal obligation to provide financial and medical support for the child. 


How do you prove that the denying visitation would substantially impair the child's physical or emotional health?

You would need a licensed professional, (for example a child psychologist) to provide testimony to confirm this. 


What important decisions does the managing and possessory conservator make on behalf of the child?

​Some of the important decisions regarding the child include; schooling, medical decisions, psychiatric decisions, religion, and many others. 


​Can I request visitation with the child if the child has been adopted by someone other than the child's step-parent?

No, grandparents cannot request visitation with the child if child has been adopted by someone who is not the child's step-parent.


Discuss your grandparent's rights options in a confidential consultation with an attorney in our office.

Contact us by email or call us at 832-844-1677.