There are many reasons why grandparents may need to obtain custody of their grandchildren. Perhaps the biological parents are going through a difficult time, or the state has declared that the home environment is no longer safe. Whatever the reason, many grandparents are left wondering how to obtain custody of their grandchildren--and whether this is even possible.
In the state of Texas, there are several different ways in which grandparents may be granted custody of a child. This could include physical custody, legal custody or both. In this two-part series on our blog, we will examine a few forms of grandparent custody and the situations that may necessitate it.
1. Power of attorney and physical custody
Sometimes, parents and grandparents informally agree to have the child live at their grandparents' home. Grandparents in this situation have physical custody, but they may also wish to file for power of attorney. Having power of attorney allows grandparents to sign legal documents regarding the child's education and medical care without having to consult the parents every time. This arrangement is useful for grandparents whose grandchildren will be staying with them for a long time and who may need to sign consent forms for their grandchildren.
2. Foster parenting
If the state removes children from their parents' home, it is often the grandparents who act as a foster family. Though the grandparents would have temporary physical custody over the child, the court would retain legal custody. Generally, grandparents may act as a child's foster parents without extensive oversight from the court system but may be subject to visits and evaluations from Child Protective Services. This situation usually only lasts until a more permanent custody solution is reached.
Texas grandparents who are considering obtaining physical or legal custody of their grandchildren are advised to consult a family law attorney. In our conclusion to this post, we will go over three more forms of custody for grandparents in the state of Texas.