Rockwall Grandparents Rights Attorney
Having grandparents actively involved with grandchildren strengthens family bonds and provides security. Both in the past and today, grandparents step in to protect and nurture children who have lost their parents to death, divorce, separation, mental illness, medical problems, substance abuse, or other unfortunate circumstances. Historically, Texas laws respected the bond between grandparent and grandchild. Rockwall grandparents have the right to sue for custody, possession time, or access to a grandchild.
Many laws across the United States have now changed to limit the previously liberal rights grandparents had in regards to their grandchildren. In 2000, the United States Supreme Court handed down a decision in a case called Troxel v. Granville, referred to as Troxel. The Troxel ruling defined a constitutional right of parents to rear their children. This ruling forced limits on laws that allowed people who are not parents of a child to attempt to get custody, possession, or access to a child. The case specifically mentioned grandparent visitation rights and resulted in the determination that grandparents do not have a constitutional right to visitation of grandchildren. But in certain circumstances, Texas state law allows grandparents the right of visitation or even custody. In 2005, Texas amended the Texas Family Code to conform to the ruling in Troxel. The amended law increased the requirements necessary for grandparents to apply for visitation or custody.
In Rockwall County a court can authorize grandparent visitation of a grandchild if visitation is in the grandchild's best interests and meets certain circumstances. The grandparent may be able to get visitation rights if the grandchild: has parents who are divorced; was abused or neglected by the parent; has a parent who has been incarcerated, found incompetent, or died; has a parent who has had the parent-child relationship terminated by court-order; or if the grandchild has lived with the grandparent for at least six months.
Custody in Texas is called managing conservatorship. Texas law has a legal bias that it is in a child’s best interests to have his or her parents as managing conservator. The grandparent seeking custody must prove that the appointment of the parents would not be in the child’s best interest because the appointment would significantly impair the child’s physical health or emotional development. There also must be proof that the parents are unfit.
Grandchildren benefit by having involved grandparents. As a grandparent, you can sue for possession and access if your ability to call and visit your grandchild is in his or her best interests. Custody gives you the power to make sure that you can make important decisions for your grandchild’s health, safety, and wellbeing. If your grandchild already lives with you, or it might be in his or her best interests to live with you, don’t hesitate to contact us to learn about your options for obtaining custody.
Here at Guest and Gray Law Firm, our team of Rockwall family law attorneys has helped many grandparents in their quest to secure access to their grandchildren through custody and visitation cases. Let us support you so you can do what is best for your grandchild. Call today to speak with an experienced Rockwall Grandparents’ rights attorney.