If you are like many people, you can look back to your own childhood with many pleasant memories of the time spent with your grandparents. These are the people who let you stay up late when your parents went out, and for some, they stepped in as surrogate parents when needed.
Unfortunately, grandparents and children can lose this vital bond during a contentious divorce. In other cases, the wellbeing of the children depends on a more permanent relationship with their grandparents. Each Austin family law attorney at GoransonBain Ausley recognizes the importance of this relationship and works hard to take the legal action necessary to preserve it whenever possible.
Texas Permits Visitation Based the Best Interest of the Children
The grandparents’ page on the Texas Attorney General’s website explains when state courts can authorize grandparent visitation:
- When the parents divorce
- If children are subjected to parental abuse or neglect
- Upon the death, incarceration or incompetence of the parents
- When the court orders termination of the parent-child relationship
- When the children reside with a grandparent for at least six months
Granted, the loving relationship between children and their grandparents should be enough to justify regular contact. However, the above situations are all examples of times when that contact is vital for the best interests of the children.
Custody May Be an Option
With the exception of divorce, any of the allowable conditions for visitation can serve as grounds for pursuing custody of the grandchildren rather than just visitation rights. Clearly, an extreme case of parental abuse or neglect might be just one example where the well-being of the children is best served by residing outside of their family home.
Naturally, some elderly individuals may not have the physical stamina or financial resources to provide the care needed by their grandchildren, so they are likely to be subjected to appropriate assessment by the state.
However, in many cases, a lack of financial resources may not be an issue since individuals with custodial rights in Texas have a right to pursue financial and medical support from the parents.
Every Situation is Unique
Of course, no situation automatically guarantees the visitation or custody rights of grandparents. However, when you seek advice from a Texas family lawyer with significant courtroom experience, you may be surprised by the range of available options for keeping your grandchildren in your life. With three former family court judges on our team, the attorneys at GoransonBain Ausley understand your rights. Contact us to learn how we can help.