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Family law: how Texas recognizes grandparents' rights

Texas judges always award child custody with the best interest of the child in mind. While, in most cases, it is determined that the best interest of the child lies in living with one of the biological parents, there are some cases where living with the biological parents can hinder the minor child's emotional and physical well-being. The courts often grant custody of minor children to close family members, such as grandparents, in that type of situation.

Even in cases where the court determines that it is in the best interest of the child to be with the parents, the grandparents still have some limited rights to visit their grandchildren. As a general rule, Texas law recognizes that the parents understand what is in the best interest of their children more than anyone else. Therefore, grandparents do not have an automatic right to visit and establish a relationship with their grandchildren. Similarly, the biological parents do have the right to restrict the grandparents from seeing their children, if they feel that it is necessary.

In many cases though, the grandparents' right to their grandchildren may have been restricted or even completely terminated, due to the parents' relationship with their own parents. Furthermore, when the grandparents who wish to have access to their grandchildren are the parents of the non-custodial parent, they often lose because the custodial parent might not have a relationship with the grandparents in question. The custodial parent may even harbor ill will toward the non-custodial parent, which will only further complicate the situation.

Grandparents who find themselves wrongfully banned from their grandchildren's lives often consult an attorney to gain access to their grandchildren. Nonetheless, it often proves to be an uphill battle with a lot of complications since Texas does not recognize grandparents' automatic rights. In a small number of cases, where the parents themselves have been compromised in their custody due to incarceration or mental incapacity, the grandparents may have more of a chance at gaining visitation rights over their grandchildren.

Source:, "Grandparents' Visitation Rights in Texas," accessed on July 17, 2015

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