What rights do grandparents have to visit with their grandchildren? To begin with, grandparents have no automatic rights. This is because it’s presumed that the parent of the child acts in the child’s best interests when allowing or not allowing a grandparent visitation. Of course this doesn’t mean you can’t see your grandchildren, but you must have a parent’s approval. However, if you are at odds with a parent of your grandchild, you can seek relief from the court.
In Texas, a court may order reasonable possession of, or access to, a grandchild if the following conditions are met. At the time the relief is requested, at least one biological or adoptive parent of the child has not had parental rights terminated. Further, the grandparent must show that denial of possession of or access to the child would significantly impair the child’s physical health or emotional well-being.
Additionally, the grandparent is the parent of a parent of the child and the parent of the child: (a) has been incarcerated in jail or prison during the three-month period preceding the filing of the suit, (b) has been found by a court to be incompetent, (c) is dead, or (d) does not have actual or court-ordered possession of, or access to the child.
A big hurtle a grandparent must overcome is proving that the parent doesn’t act in the best interest of the child and that denying possession or access to the grandparent would significantly impair the child’s physical or emotional health. Remember, it is presumed that the parent’s choice to refuse possession or access to the grandparent is in the child’s best interest. Simply put, it’s presumed that “parents know best.”
Chante Prox is a family law attorney and mediator practicing in the Dallas/Fort Worth area @ www.barnesproxlaw.com or (817) 649-2700.
Disclaimer: This information should not be considered as legal advice. Decisions should be based on consultation with a licensed attorney. This blog is for informative purposes only.