Lewisville Grandparents' Rights Lawyer
Information on Grandparents' Rights
The experienced legal team at Steele Law, P.C. knows that family disputes can be stressful for everyone involved. There are few ties in this world stronger than blood, but when those ties are strained or broken, the effect on the emotions can be devastating. This does not only occur with divorcing parents. Disputes related to child custody and support can also involve grandparents.
Although most would consider a legal battle the absolute last option when it comes to family matters, in some cases, it may be the only viable option available. If you have no choice but to take your family dispute to court, call us at (214) 333-4357 for a comprehensive overview of your rights and your options.
Texas family law expects parents to provide their children with a safe and nurturing environment. Unfortunately, that is not always the case. You may be a grandparent who is being denied access or visitation with your grandchild or grandchildren by a parent. In other circumstances, you may be a grandparent who has taken on the responsibility of raising your grandchild. In either situation, you should be informed of the laws that grant you the right to be involved in your grandchildren's lives.
When a grandparent files a suit requesting managing conservatorship for a grandchild, he or she is requesting primary responsibility for the child in question. If a child's parents leave the child to be raised by his or her grandparent, then the law may allow the grandparent to seek managing conservatorship of the child. Nonetheless, complications arise if a parent disputes the suit.
Lewisville family law initially assumes that it is in the best interest of the child to have the parents be the managing conservators. In order for a grandparent to be granted managing conservatorship of the child, the presumption that the child's best interest lies in the parents must be rebutted by evidence that says otherwise, such as a history of family violence. The court may also rebut the presumption that a parent should retain caretaker status if the parent voluntarily relinquished care and possession of the child to another party for a period of one year or more.
In cases where both parents are deceased, grandparents are not automatically granted managing conservatorship. The court uses their discretion to determine if such an action is in the child's best interest before a concession is made. If you are a grandparent and are considering filing suit to take custody of your grandchild or grandchildren, it is best to discuss your rights and options with an attorney who can lead you through the nuances of this complex area of law.
Access to a Grandchild
Under certain circumstances, a grandparent may acquire visitation rights to a grandchild by requesting access through the court. Access by a grandparent to a grandchild is ordered by the court, according to Texas Family Code Section 153.433, if at least one biological or adoptive parent has not had their parental rights terminated, the grandparent overcomes the presumption that a parent acts in the best interest of the child by proving that denial of possession or access to the child would significantly impair the child's physical health or emotional well-being, and at least one of the following facts is established regarding the parent who is the grandparent's own child:
- The parent was in jail or prison during the three months preceding the filing of the suit.
- The parent is deceased.
- The parent has been found by a court to be incompetent.
- The parent does not have actual or court-ordered possession of or access to the child.
Doing What's Best for You and Your Family
Gaining the legal right to care for your grandchild or even just see your grandchild can be a difficult process since the Texas Family Code's statutes favor parents over non-parents. With the legal guidance of an experienced Texas family law attorney like Dina Steele, you can fully understand your options and take the necessary steps to protect the wellbeing of your grandchild. For a comprehensive overview of your case, contact Steele Law, P.C. by filling out our online contact form or calling today.