Grandparents do not automatically have the right to spend time with their grandchildren as a general rule of thumb. The parents must approve of the grandparents' visitations in order for them to occur. Nevertheless, in certain unique scenarios, a Texas family law court might intervene to ensure that the children can spend time with their grandparents.
Here's when a court might intervene:
Courts will usually allow grandparents to pursue a court action for visitation rights if one of the parents is mentally incompetent, in prison, dead or not living with the children. However, grandparents can't file for visitation if both original parents died and the child has been adopted by new parents.
Also, courts will review the grandparent's petition to determine if visitation with the grandparents is indeed in the best interests of the child before agreeing to award visitation. For example, are the grandparents able to provide a loving, healthy and supportive relationship with the child? In this case, the relationship is probably a healthy one for the child.
Furthermore, one of the following conditions must be true before the court will award visitation:
- The parents have divorced.
- The parents have neglected or abused the child.
- The parents are dead, incompetent or incarcerated.
- The court ended one of the parent's relationship with the child.
- The child has resided with the grandparents for six months or more.
If you're a grandparent who is trying to comply with Texas family law to secure the right to spend time with your grandkids, don't give up hope. With the right legal strategy, you may be able to gain court-approved visitation rights that the parents or current guardians of the child do not have the ability to disobey.