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Can grandparents ask for visitation with grandkids?

Some parents prescribe to the adage that it takes a village to raise a child, leaning into sharing their responsibilities with their families and support systems. However, situations may arise in which parents do not wish to allow their extended families, including their own parents, access to or possession of their children. 

As a grandparent in the state of Texas, you may have the right to pursue visitation with your grandchild, despite your child’s status as a parent. 

Requirements for grandparents seeking visitation 

According to Texas state law, grandparents may pursue access to a grandchild or possession of a grandchild under certain circumstances. You may petition the court to enact your rights in situations when your child, the parent of your grandchild, lacks actual or court-ordered visitation or custody, is serving a jail or prison sentence, is dead or has been deemed incompetent by the court. When you can show that cutting off their relationship with a grandchild would negatively impact your grandchild’s health and well-being, the court may grant you visitation with or custody of your grandchildren. 

Restrictions on grandparent visitation 

The law imposes certain restrictions on grandparents’ ability to seek access to or possession of a grandchild. You may not seek visitation if circumstances such as the following exist: 

  • Each of your grandchild’s parents has died 
  • Your grandchild’s parents have had their parental rights terminated 
  • Each of your grandchild’s parents has executed an affidavit of relinquishment of parental rights or a waiver of interest in child 

You may lose their rights to pursue visitation or custody of your grandchild when such circumstances exist and the child has been adopted or adoption of the child is pending. 

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