It is not unusual for grandparents to worry about the health and wellbeing of their grandchildren. Should they become concerned that their grandchildren are at risk of physical or emotional harm, it is possible for them to seek legal custody with the help of a seasoned family law attorney.
A West Lake Hills grandparents’ rights lawyer could provide the experience necessary to secure custody of your grandchildren. It is important to understand that courts are hesitant to remove children from their parents, making it vital to establish evidence that the children are in immediate jeopardy.
What Rights Do Grandparents Have Over Their Grandchildren?
State law allows for grandparents’ custody and visitation rights under Texas Family Code §153.432. Under the law, grandparents may file individual lawsuits or even seek to modify existing custody orders in an effort to obtain access to their grandchildren.
However, the burden that grandparents face in these cases is steep. The court must first determine if the child’s parents are acting in the child’s best interests. This is more difficult than it might appear on the surface, as there is a presumption that parents are acting in their child’s best interests. In other words, a grandparent must rebut this presumption before they can obtain custody or visitation rights to their grandchildren.
There are a few circumstances that can establish that a parent is not acting in the best interest of their children. One of the clearest examples involves a parent that is found to be incompetent through a court order. Other examples could include the death or long-term incarceration of the parent. A West Lake Hills lawyer could advise grandparents of their rights and help them fight for custody of or access to their grandchildren.
Standing to File a Custody Case
Primarily, grandparents have the strongest claim for custody when they can establish that the minor child had a close relationship with them. According to the law, a grandparent has standing when they establish that they were in possession of or provided actual care to the child for a minimum of six months. This six-month time period must have come to an end no more than 90 days before the filing of the grandparents’ petition. This means that a grandparent must have not only served in a parental capacity for a minor child but also have done so recently.
Standing can still exist even when a grandparent cannot prove the child lived with them for the minimum amount of time. In these cases, a grandparent would only have standing by showing that the circumstances of a child currently negatively impact their emotional or physical wellbeing.
Determining standing to seek custody or visitation is important to many grandparents. The right legal team could make custody or visitation a reality. The best opportunity for grandparents to protect their rights is through a discussion with a West Lake Hills lawyer.
Reach out to a West Lake Hills Grandparents’ Rights Attorney
As a grandparent, it is understandable that you may have a genuine concern for the wellbeing of your grandchild. The guidance of an attorney could protect your rights and provide you with access to your loved ones. As such, it may be in your best interests to speak with a West Lake Hills grandparents’ rights lawyer. Reach out today for an initial consultation.