When it comes to custody and possession time, Texas affords grandparents very few rights. But, it is possible for them to petition the family law court and be awarded possession time with their grandchildren, even over the objection of their own child, if they can meet certain conditions. It is also possible for grandparents to obtain custody.
If grandparents believe their child is in danger of having their parental rights terminated, grandparents need to act fast. Once parental rights are terminated, grandparents may have no rights to possession time with their grandchildren or to obtain custody.
Grandparents Can Obtain Possession and Access Rights
Grandparents can petition the court and request possession time with their grandchildren even if their own child, the parent of the grandchildren, objects. But, they must meet certain requirements, have really good grounds to support their request, and must show that possession time is in the best interest of the children.
Grandparents must first prove they are the adoptive or biological parent of one parent of the grandchildren. Then, at least one of the following conditions must be met:
- The parents are divorced; or
- The parent has been incarcerated for at least three months; or
- The parent is dead; or
- The parent has been found by a court to be incompetent, but has not had parental rights terminated; or
- The parent does not have possession or access rights to the child; or
- The parent has abused or neglected the child.
If one of these conditions are met, the grandparents must also prove that denying the children possession time with the grandparents will substantially impair the child’s physical health or emotional development.
Grandparents and Child Custody
If children have lived with their grandparents for six consecutive months, or the parents have abused or harmed the children, grandparents may petition the court for custody of the children. The office of the Attorney General of Texas recommends that grandparents seeking custody of their grandchildren contact a family law attorney to assist them through the process.
For a free 20-minute consultation, Contact the Whittemore Law Firm at 832-215-3706
Whittemore Law Firm is dedicated to helping clients navigate difficult family law and divorce issues. Whittemore Law Firm serves clients in The Woodlands, Conroe, Montgomery County, Houston, Harris County, and throughout the surrounding area. If you need help, contact Whittemore Law Firm now and benefit from more than 21 years of family law experience so we can help make sure you get a fair resolution.