While the Fort Worth, Texas, and Tarrant, Texas, areas include many happy families, there are others that have been torn apart by the separation or divorce of the parents. In those cases, Texas family law addresses custody and visitation rights. Everyone knows that this is done in regards to the parents of the children; however, it may also be done with regards to the grandparents of the children.
Grandparents can be awarded full custody if they can prove in court that their having custody is in the best interests of the children. Alternatively, they can be awarded visitation if that is determined to be in the best interests of the children and if certain conditions are met.
Those conditions include the parents of the children having been divorced, the parents of the children having abused them, neglected them, or otherwise had their parent-child relationship terminated by court order, the parents being dead, incarcerated, or found incompetent or the children having lived with their grandparents for a period of at least six months.
Grandparents seeking custody often happen when the parents have demonstrated that they are unfit, due to substance abuse, association with dangerous characters, or other lifestyle choices that put the children in danger. In those cases, the grandparents may file for custody to get the children out of an unhealthy situation. The grandparents may also informally take the children into their own home and raise them, with the parents’ permission, and then subsequently decide that it is best to formally pursue custody.
An experienced attorney can help grandparents who face these circumstances. The grandparents will need to demonstrate how they will provide a good home for the children and raise them well, and provide evidence for why that would not happen if the children were left with their parents.