If you have grandchildren, you may think that alone gives you the right to visit with them no matter what the parents say. Unfortunately, you would be wrong. If either parent objects to you spending time with your grandchildren, you have no constitutional right to visit them.
The U. S. Supreme Court has ruled that the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment to the U.S constitution “protects the fundamental right of parents to make decisions concerning the care, custody and control of their children.” This includes the right to say that grandparents may not visit their children.
Texas law offers grandparents some hope for visiting their grandchildren over the objections of the parents. It is not easy to do this, but the attorneys at Springer & Lyle have experience and can help grandparents jump through the required legal hoops.
How to Establish Grandparent Right to Visitation
If both parents have had their parental rights terminated, or the children have been adopted or are in the process of being adopted by someone other than a stepparent, you have no hope of visitation. The law does not provide courts the power to award you visitation in these circumstances.
If parent objects to grandparents visiting the children, referred to in Texas as “access” to the children, it is not enough for the grandparents to just say they want to visit the children. This is true even if the children say they want to spend time with their grandparents.
Texas law does provide a way for grandparents to petition the court and ask for visitation if they can prove the following:
“(1) at the time the relief was requested, at least one biological or adoptive parent of the child had not had that parent’s parental rights terminated.
(2) the grandparent requesting possession of or access to the child has overcome the presumption that a parent acts in the best interest of the parent’s child by proving by a preponderance of the evidence that the denial of possession of or access to the child would significantly impair the child’s physical health or emotional well-being…”
As with all parenting decisions, the court will only award grandparent visitation with the children if it finds that visitation is in the best interest of the children.
Family Law Attorneys at Springer & Lyle Can Help
For more information about grandparent’s rights in Texas, contact our family law attorneys at Springer & Lyle to schedule a consultation. You may also call us at 940-387-0404.