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How much do you know about grandparents' rights? -- II

Last week, our blog discussed how many grandparents are not entirely sure what their rights are when it comes to visitation with their grandchildren, as some mistakenly believe that this is not an option and others mistakenly believe that they have an absolute legal right.

Specifically, we started discussing how the truth about grandparents' rights and visitation can be found somewhere in the middle.

Is it only necessary for one of the enumerated circumstances discussed in our previous post to exist in order for grandparents to be awarded visitation rights?

In order for a court to authorize visitation rights for grandparents, more is required than just one of these enumerated circumstances (the grandchild's parent died, the grandchild's parent's divorced, etc.) to exist. Indeed, a judge must also find that the arrangement is in the best interests of the child. 

When making the determination as to what exactly is in the best interests of the child, a judge can consider a multitude of factors, including the child's emotional needs, the stability of the grandparent's home and the child's preferences, to name only a few.

Are there any circumstances in which a grandparent is unable to secure visitation rights?

Yes, Texas law dictates that grandparents may not request visitation rights under the following circumstances:

  • Both of the grandchild's parents had their parental rights terminated.
  • Both of the grandchild's parents gave up him or her up for adoption, and they have subsequently been adopted or are in the process of being adopted by someone other than a stepparent.

While these posts are by no means meant to cover every single facet of grandparents' rights, they do provide valuable insight into just how complex this area of law can prove to be, and just how important it is for those grandparents with questions to consider speaking with an experienced legal professional.

Sources: Attorney General of Texas Greg Abbott, "Grandparents' page," Accessed Dec. 2, 2014; Texas Law Help, "Grandparents' rights," Accessed Dec. 2, 2014 

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