FindLaw KnowledgeBasePublished: 2013-02-19
It is an exciting time when someone receives the news that he or she is about to become a grandparent. The joy that a grandchild brings can make many people feel young again. Grandparents play a major role in the child’s life, from simply spending time together to providing care when are parents are unable to do so. Most parents rely upon the advice and experience that the grandparents offer, and know that they can go to them for advice when they need help.
However, not every relationship will work out. When a couple gets divorced or breaks up, the grandparents may find that they no longer are able to spend as much time with the child as they have in the past. Disputes concerning the time that each parent is able to spend with the child is often the issue of most concern to the court. In some situations, there may be requests for custody or visitation rights for the grandparents.
In order for these requests to be considered, specific factors will need to be present. Each state will have different rules in place, but in Texas, there must be at least one parent involved in the proceeding who still has parental rights to the child. The grandparents must also show that denial of custody or visitation will have a significant negative effect on the child’s mental well-being.
One of the biggest challenges that grandparents may face when trying to obtain time with the children is the fact that the laws in Texas have a presumption that the parents will act in the child’s best interests. If the parent objects to the grandparents’ request for custody or visitation, this could be a very difficult burden to overcome. The grandparents will need to demonstrate certain facts that show why the parents’ objections should be cast aside.
A court may decide to allow visitation only if it is in the child’s best interests. This may be because one of the parents abused or neglected the child, or that the child has actually lived with the grandparents for a certain time period. The court will have to carefully examine the situation to determine if visitation will be granted.
If you have questions concerning custody issues, speak to an experienced child custody attorney to understand the options that may be available to you. Each case is different, and it will be important to know how best to proceed. Waiting too long to present this information could make it difficult to challenge custody decisions down the line.