A Law Firm That Values The Contributions Of Grandparents
Families don’t need to look like the traditional “nuclear family” to be healthy and supportive. For a variety of reasons, children cannot always be left in the care of their biological parents. In many of these cases, grandparents selflessly step in to fulfill their grandchildren’s needs.
Unfortunately, without legally formalizing these new arrangements, grandparents may have little say in what happens to the grandkids they love and want to protect. Attorney Sheri Bryce Dye represents a significant number of concerned grandparents. She is proud to advocate on behalf of such caring people who are willing to step into a difficult caregiving role.
Below are three possible legal avenues that may be available to you as a grandparent caring for your grandchildren.
Petitioning For Grandchild Conservatorship
Conservatorship in Texas is what is known as “custody” just about everywhere else. These cases often (but not always) begin with an informal arrangement in which grandparents are caring full-time for their grandkids with permission from (and due to the needs of) the parents.
The problem with an informal arrangement is that the parent could suddenly demand the children back months later, and the grandparents would be left with little recourse to stop it. Kids may go from being raised by their grandparents to never seeing them.
If you have been taking care of your grandchildren for six months or more (and can provide documentation to prove it), you may be able to petition the court for conservatorship of your grandkids after a parent tries to take them back. The care you provided doesn’t have to be entirely consecutive in order to count.
Formally Adopting Your Grandchildren
Adopting a grandchild is, legally speaking, distinct from gaining conservatorship. Adoption confers full parental rights, which is important for making decisions on the child’s behalf such as medical care, religious indoctrination and schooling. You could also put adopted grandchildren onto your insurance plan.
That being said, adoption is also a harder process. First and foremost, it requires terminating the parental rights of the biological parents. In some cases, parents will be willing to relinquish these rights. In other cases, it will require a difficult legal dispute. There are other matters you should be prepared for as well, including a home study conducted by the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS) and a court hearing.
Filing An Intervention In CPS Cases
When children are removed from an unfit home by child protective services (CPS), they may be placed in foster care or with a relative. To divert your grandchildren from foster care, you’d need to file an “intervention,” a legal proceeding requesting that they be placed with you instead.
This process can be complicated because it typically requires termination of parental rights and appointment as a conservator.
Contact Sheri To Learn More About Grandparents’ Rights
Grandparents often have more legal options than they realize, but it is important to work with an experienced attorney who will advocate aggressively on your behalf. To learn how the Law Office of Sheri Bryce Dye can help you, contact the firm in San Antonio to schedule an initial consultation. Call the firm at 210-761-5241 or send an email to the firm.