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Grandparents’ right to petition for custody in Texas, P.1

In an ideal world, all children would have loving parents that are fit to care for them and provide a secure environment for them to grow and develop, with loving grandparents to support the process. We don’t live in an ideal world, though, and sometimes parents are unable to provide for their children. In such cases, grandparents sometimes have to step into the role of parent and fight for the best interests of the child.

Texas, like other states, allows grandparents to petition a family court for custody if they believe the child would be best served by their taking the child in. Depending on the circumstances the family is dealing with, grandparents may wish to only petition for managing conservatorship of the child, which is like legal custody of the child. Such a petition, if granted, would allow the grandparent to make important decisions about the child, such as where he or she receives education, signing off on health care matters, and determining religious education. 

Grandparents are also able to petition the court for possession of or access to a child, with or without regard to managing conservatorship. In cases where a biological or adoptive grandparent requests possession of or access to a grandchild, the grandparent is required to provide evidence that denying access to or possession of the child would put the child’s physical health or emotional well-being at risk.

The court will only grant the grandparent’s request for possession or access if specific circumstances are adequately proven. In our next post, we’ll look at these circumstances and the importance of grandparents working with an experienced family law attorney when seeking custody of a grandchild. 

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