Grandparents Rights

Grandparents Rights Rockwall CountyBy nature, it is almost always unpleasant circumstances that lead to grandparents getting involved in legal action in order to obtain rights with respect to their grandchildren. A parent may have died, abandoned the child, or be dealing with a serious substance abuse problem. Either way, the child needs to be in someone else’s care. Grandparents are often willing and able to be that caregiver.

If a grandparent wants to obtain rights with respect to the grandchild, they have three options.

The first option is to be named a managing conservator of the child. When two parties get divorced and children are involved, at least one party is named a managing conservator. When someone is named a managing conservator, the child lives with the conservator and the conservator can receive child support from other parties. In order to seek managing conservatorship, one of the following must be true:

  1. The grandparent must have had actual care, control and possession of the child for at least six months, and this period of possession cannot have ended more than 90 days from the grandparent filing suit.

  2. If the child and the adult with custody lived with the grandparent for at least six months with this period of residence not ending more than 90 days before the grandparent files suit, the grandparent can file suit if the adult with custody has passed away.

  3. The grandchild’s present circumstances will significantly impair their physical health or emotional development.

  4. Both of the child’s parent, the one surviving parent, or other managing conservator filed the suit.

The second option is to be named a possessory conservator which means that you could have court ordered visitation with, but not custody of, your grandchild. In order to seek possessory conservatorship, either 1. or 2. from the list must above must be true OR you must have been present in your grandchild’s life and had contact with your grandchild for an extended period of time and the court must find that would not be in the child’s best interest to appoint one parent as the sole managing conservator or both as joint managing conservators.

The third and final option is to ask for grandparent access which is like being named a possessory conservator in that you could get visitation with your grandchild but not actually be named a possessory conservator. In order to get grandparent access, you must show the following three things:

  1. At least one parent of the child has not had their parental rights terminated.

  2. Preventing you from having access to your grandchild would significantly impair their physical health or emotional well-being.

  3. You must be a parent of one of the grandchild’s parents.

If all three of those things are true, then one of the following four things must also be true:

  1. One of the child’s parents has been in jail within three months of the filing of the suit.

  2. The court has deemed a parent to be incompetent.

  3. A parent has died;

  4. The parent has no possession of or access to the child through a court order.

This is a whole lot of very specific legal talk here. It’s understandable if this is too much to take in, or if it seems complicated. If you would like a further explanation or if you just have other questions, I would be happy to sit down with you in a free initial consultation and discuss grandparent’s rights with you.

Call Rockwall, a Texas Family Lawyer at (972)564-4644 about grandparent’s rights in Rockwall County.