Many grandparents have a huge influence on their grandchildren’s lives, and the bonds they share are often unbreakable. Most states, including Texas, have visitation laws for grandparents when the child’s parents divorce. If it is in the best interest of the children, grandparents can also request custody of their grandchildren.
Why grandparents may want custody of grandchildren
Grandparents requesting custody of their grandchildren can seek the help of a family law attorney to start the process. There are many reasons why grandparents may want custody of their grandchildren, including the death of the child’s parent. Other reasons grandparents file for custody of grandchildren include:
- Parent’s incarceration
- Parent’s incompetence
- Parent’s voluntary relinquishment
- Parental abuse of the child
- Parent’s addiction to illegal substances or alcohol
How can grandparents gain custody of their grandchildren?
Grandparents seeking custody of their grandchildren must prove that the child’s parent is otherwise unfit to raise the child unless the parent has voluntarily relinquished the child to his or her grandparents. This is most often the case when grandparents gain custody of grandchildren.
It is not impossible to get custody of grandchildren, but it will require some work on the grandparents’ end. First, keeping records of all visitations the parents have with the children provides the court with proof of how often the parents are with the children. Keeping photos of the grandparent-grandchild relationship is also important.
Additionally, grandparents may need the testimony of expert witnesses or other individuals in the child’s life. This can include teachers, church officials and doctors who have witnessed the grandparents providing primary care for the child. Establishing a strong grandparent-grandchild relationship is key when seeking custody of grandchildren with the help of a family law attorney.