Grandparents and Visitation
Lawyers for Grandparents’ Visitation in Texas: Dallas, Frisco, & San Antonio
Divorces can be complicated and emotionally draining, particularly when children are involved. But what about the rights of grandparents? When divorcing spouses begin to think about child custody and visitation, the rights of grandparents aren’t always at the top of the list. According to a recent story in the Huffington Post, parents who are divorcing often attempt to cut off grandparents’ relationships with their grandchildren, despite a loving bond between them.
Are you in the middle of a divorce and wondering about what rights your children’s grandparents will have after the divorce? Or are you a grandparent who is hoping to maintain a close relationship with a grandchild despite the fact that the parents are dissolving their marriage? Contact the law office of Orsinger, Nelson, Downing and Anderson, L.L.P. to learn more about grandparents’ rights and how we can assist with your family law matter.
When Parents Divorce, What Rights do Grandparents Maintain?
According to the Texas Attorney General, grandparents can play a very important role in the lives of their grandchildren. Indeed, grandparents and their grandchildren “can develop strong bonds that last a lifetime.”
Grandparent visitation varies from state to state. According to the Huffington Post article, there’s “no hard and fast rule that a grandparent has an absolute legal right to visit with a grandchild.” However, a number of exceptions exist, and a Texas court can allow grandparent visitation in cases where such visitation is in the best interest of the child, and in one of the following situations:
· The child’s parents are divorced;
· The child’s parent(s) have been abusive or neglectful;
· The child’s parent(s) have been incarcerated;
· The child’s parent(s) have been found incompetent;
· The child’s parent(s) have died;
· A court order terminated the parent-child relationship; or
· The child has lived with his or her grandparents for at least 6 months.
To be clear, Texas visitation statutes don’t give grandparents an “absolute right to visitation,” and grandparents aren’t even permitted to request visitation in cases where the child has been adopted by someone other than a stepparent.
If you’re a grandparent and your grandchild has been living with you for at least six months, you may be eligible to become the child’s custodian. Keep in mind, if you become a “custodial parent,” you’ll be able to seek child support. Parents maintain a legal obligation to financially support their children, even if they don’t have custody.
Resolving Grandparent Visitation Issues Out of Court
While the law governs a grandparent’s legal right to visitation, some grandparents may be able to resolve their cases out of court. According to the article in the Huffington Post, communication between the parents and the grandparent is key to such a solution.
If all parties are focusing on the best interests of the child, they may be able to come to a resolution outside of court. Indeed, approaching a parent with a reasonable visitation schedule may convince a parent that visitation with your grandchild should be on the table despite other contentious issues surrounding the divorce.
Do you have questions about how divorce can affect grandparents’ visitation rights? Contact an experienced Dallas family law attorney today to learn more about how we can assist with your case. Call the law offices of Orsinger, Nelson, Downing, and Anderson, L.L.P. at (214) 273-2400 for our Dallas offices, in San Antonio at (210) 225-5567, and Frisco at (972) 963-5459.