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Barbara L. Jouette, Attorney, P.C.
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Grandparent custody rights in the state of Texas

The state of Texas recognizes that a strong bond between a child and grandparent can be beneficial for the child. A grandparent may be granted custody of a child if certain criteria have been met. For instance, if the parent has abused or neglected the child, it may be grounds to grant grandparent visitation or custody.

If a child has lived with a grandparent for six months or more, that may also be grounds to grant custody to the grandparent. Other grounds for possible grandparent visitation or custody include the incarceration of a parent or if the parent-child relationship has been terminated by a court order. If the parent dies, a grandparent may also seek to become that child's custodial parent.

In the event that a grandparent is awarded custody of a child, the child's legal parents may have to pay child support if they are still alive. Although grandparents may be allowed visitation, this is not a universal right. If the child has been adopted by someone other than a stepparent, visitation may not be granted. Furthermore, visitation will only be granted if it is in the best interest of the child.

Those who wish to learn more about these matters may wish to talk to an attorney who has experience in advocating for grandparents' rights. The attorney may be able to assist in any action to obtain custody or to earn visitation rights. This may enable a grandparent to stay in the life of his or her grandchild, which may be in that child's best interest. In a contested case, legal counsel may be able to help negotiate an agreement that grants visitation or custody rights without straining relations between the grandparent, the child and the child's parents.

Source: Texas Attorney General, "Grandparents' Page", accessed on Jan. 19, 2015

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