642 views | 30 | Last updated on May 01, 2015 Family Law
The Texas Legal Services Center authored information on grandparents' rights for TexasLawHelp.org. In their introduction, they state:
In Troxel v. Granville, the United States Supreme Court ruled that the Due Process Clause, "protects the fundamental right of parents to make decisions concerning the care, custody and control of their children."
Thus, as a grandparent your "possession and access" (visitation and custody) rights are limited. In other words, grandparents do not have a constitutional right to see their grandchildren.
See the information on that page for more details about petitioning the court for access to a grandchild. The Texas Attorney General also publishes information for grandparents. On that page, they state that "Visitation statutes do not give a grandparent an absolute right to visitation." They go on to explain the following:
Grandparents may file suit requesting custody if they believe it is in the child's best interest. Visitation statutes vary widely from state to state. In Texas, a court can authorize grandparent visitation of a grandchild if visitation is in the child's best interest, and one of the following circumstances exists:
- The parents divorced;
- The parent abused or neglected the child;
- The parent has been incarcerated, found incompetent, or died;
- A court-order terminated the parent-child relationship; or
- The child has lived with the grandparent for at least six months.
If you would like more information, our research guide on grandparents' rights provides links to more resources. If you are over the age of 60 and would like to speak with an attorney for a legal opinion or legal advice, call the Legal Hotline for Texans at 1-800-622-2520.