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As a grandparent, is it possible to secure custody or visitation?

When Texas parents go through a divorce, it can have a significant impact on the relationships the children have with their parents. However, it can also have a significant impact on other relationships the kids have with extended family members, such as grandparents. A divorce, family disputes and poor decisions by parents can sometimes compel grandparents to seek custody or visitation rights.

If you are a grandparent, you might have concerns about how the choices made by the parents could affect the relationship you have with your grandkids. While courts typically favor the opinions of the biological parents, there are times when grandparents can obtain visitation or even custody. These situations can be remarkably complex, which is why it is often beneficial to seek the guidance and support of an experienced family law attorney before you proceed.

What the court will consider

As a grandparent seeking custody or visitation, it is likely you are dealing with a complicated and emotionally challenging situation. Perhaps you feel that the parent or parents are not capable of caring for their child, or maybe hard feelings between you and the parents have led to a cessation of all contact. Regardless of why you decide to go to court over this matter, it can be helpful to know all of the factors a court will take into consideration, such as:

  • The preferences of the parents and the grandkids
  • How far away you live from your grandkids
  • The nature of your relationship with your grandkids in the past
  • The ability of the parents to care for their child
  • Your ability to care for and provide for your grandkids
  • The physical, mental and emotional needs of the grandkids
  • Any history of abuse or neglect by the parents or grandparents
  • Evidence of drug or alcohol abuse by the parents
  • The child's adjustment to life changes

Every situation is different, which is why a judge will carefully consider evidence and opinions presented by both sides. In cases involving unfit parenting, it is possible you may be able to secure temporary or permanent custody of your grandkids. In every situation, the main priority will be the best interests of the kids above all else.

Don't fight alone

If you believe it is best for your grandkids that you seek visitation or custody rights, this is not a battle you have to fight alone. You may want to start by speaking about your case with an experienced attorney who knows the law and can clearly explain your legal options.

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