In Texas, grandparents do not have the same rights as some other states may allow for. Part of the reason for this is that the United States Supreme Court previously ruled that grandparents don’t have a constitutional right to visitation with their grandchildren. This is because it’s up to parents to determine who gets to see their children in the majority of cases.
In Texas, visitation refers to having continuing contact with a child. As long as the parents of a child approve, grandparents usually have a right to visit with their grandchildren at any time. Sometimes, parents limit those rights for good reason. Other times, they limit those rights out of spite, but most grandparents won’t have a case.
How can grandparents get a court order to see their grandchildren in Texas?
Usually, grandparents can be heard in court if they can show that one of their grandchild’s parents is:
- Not living with the child
- Mentally incompetent (as found by court)
Upon reaching court, the grandparents can be given visitation if the court decides it’s in the child’s best interests and one of the following:
- The parents neglected or abused the child
- A court terminated the child-parent relationship
- The parents of the child are divorced
- The child lived with the grandparent for six months or more
- One parent has been incarcerated, passed away or been found to be incompetent
If you are a grandparent who wants visitation rights, it’s smart to reach out to someone familiar with Texas law. Good help may make a difference in helping you get the right to see your grandchild.