Being a grandparent is one of the greatest joys in life. In many families, not only do grandparents spend a lot of time with their grandchildren, but they may also take care of them, especially when the parents are busy working or handling household errands.

But what happens when a grandchild’s parents file for a divorce? Can grandparents obtain visitation privileges to continue having a loving and lasting relationship with the children?

In Texas, a grandparent may petition for visitation with a grandchild. However, the court will not automatically authorize grandparent visitation.

A Texas judge can grant grandparent visitation rights if the order is in the child’s best interests, and one of the following circumstances exists:

  • The parents are divorced
  • Either parent has died, been imprisoned, or found incompetent
  • The parental rights of at least one parent have been terminated
  • The child is a victim of parental abuse or neglect
  • The child has lived with the grandparent for six months or more

However, if a parent does not approve of grandparent visitation, the court presumes that the parent has good reason for denying the order, instead of presuming that grandparent visitation is in the best interests of the child. To overcome this presumption, the petitioning grandparent must prove that the parent is unfit or that the child’s physical and emotional well-being would be harmed without grandparent visitation.

If a child has been adopted by someone else, besides the child’s stepparent, then the child’s grandparents are prohibited from requesting visitation. Adoption results in the permanent termination of the biological parents’ parental rights. Since a grandparent’s rights are tied to a parent’s rights, adoption terminates a grandparent’s right to obtain visitation with a grandchild.

If you wish to file for grandparent visitation in Austin, call Hembree Bell Law Firm at (737) 265-7656 or fill out our online contact form today to learn how we can help you. Serving families throughout Travis County and the surrounding area.

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