The relationship between grandparents and grandchildren can be very important in the development of children. However, as some Texas grandparents might experience when the children’s parents go their separate ways, the grandparents’ access to the children might be affected. However, grandparents do have some rights when it comes to their relationship with their grandchildren.
Petitioning the court for visitation
While grandparents can petition the court for visitation rights, there are limited circumstances when they can do this. The court must consider if visitation with the grandparents is in the best interest of the child. Some of the circumstances under which grandparents can petition the court for visitation include:
- If the child’s parents have gotten divorced
- If the child has lived with the grandparents for at least six months
- If the grandparents suspect that the child is being abused or neglected
- If the parent has been imprisoned
- If the parent has died
In some cases, the grandparents might petition the court for full custody, particularly when there is abuse or neglect. They can also petition the court to become a managing conservator, but in most cases, they might share conservatorship with the parents if granted.
Thinking about the best interests of the child
Cases involving children are settled by the courts with the best interests of the child as the standard. In most situations, the best interests of the child include maintaining a relationship with both parents. The court might also want to ensure that the child can continue a relationship with the grandparents, particularly as grandparents may be a force of emotional stability for the child during a divorce or other changes. Grandparents can also work toward keeping an amicable relationship with the child’s parents, which might result in permission for them to continuing seeing their grandchildren.