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Understanding grandparent rights in Texas

Parents strive to provide the best possible upbringing for their children. Sometimes that consists of exposing them to different situations and people, while other times it may require protecting them from specific people and certain instances.

In the event that your child's grandparent petitions for visitation rights, it is important to understand what the process may entail. There are a few key aspects to comprehend.

Interest of the child

This is the most important and critical aspect. In any case involving children, especially those involving divorce, the court strives to operate in the best interest of the child. Therefore, either party will have to prove that their proposed visitation, or lack thereof, will be best for the child or will not have a damaging effect.

The Troxel case

Much of the way courts handle grandparent right cases today is due to the Troxel v. Granville case. Though states create their own regulations of grandparent rights, the federal government mandates that courts must acknowledge and consider parental objections to the exercising of the grandparent's rights. Also, the grandparent's rights cannot negatively impact the parent-child relationship.

Stipulations

Particularly in the state of Texas, there are specific stipulations under which grandparents have rights and may seek visitation arrangements or an increase in visitation. This includes:

  • Denial of grandparent visitation will negatively affect the child physically or emotionally
  • A biological parent has rights over the child
  • The grandparent's child is not present due to incarceration or court order, mental illness or death

Though these are the main instances for grandparents seeking visitation, it may be possible to seek visitation or the enforcement of grandparent rights under other circumstances.

These are a few of the key aspects to understand about grandparent rights. If you are facing a potential case, take some time to review the grandparent and parental rights so you may know the best course of action for your case. If there is any way to settle outside of court, that would be most beneficial for all parties involved.

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