Grandparent Visitation Rights in Texas

Grandmother holding her granddaughter

Grandparents play an important role in many families and may even share responsibility in raising their grandchildren. But what happens when the grandchild’s parents either divorce or separate? Can grandparents request court-ordered visitation to maintain a relationship with their grandkids? 

In Texas, grandparents can obtain visitation to see their grandchildren – so long as they can prove that visitation is in the best interests of the child. A grandparent can petition the court to establish visitation rights (by filing a petition as part of an existing custody case) or modify an existing order. 

A judge will award visitation privileges to a grandparent if all the following circumstances exist: 

  • One biological or adoptive parents still have the child’s parental rights, 

  • The petitioning grandparent must prove that a denial of visitation rights would be harmful to the child’s physical health or emotional well-being, and 

  • The grandparent’s child (i.e., the child’s parent) is not currently living with the child, deceased, incarcerated for at least three months, or found mentally incompetent by a court. 

In the Troxel v. Granville decision, the Supreme Court ruled that a judge must presume that a child’s parent has a good reason for preventing grandparent visitation, instead of presuming that the grandparent visitation is in a child’s best interests. Based on that federal decision, the Texas Legislature made a change to the Texas Family Code and creates a new presumption that when a parent wishes to deny grandparent visitation, he/she is acting in the child’s best interests. 

Thus, grandparents must show that one or both parents has consented to visitation or denying visitation rights would harm the grandchild’s rights would be harmful to the child’s health and well-being. Simply showing a court how the grandchild would benefit from having grandparent visitation is insufficient. 

Furthermore, if a grandchild has been adopted by someone other than the child’s stepparent, then the grandparents may not request visitation. 

If you are interested in obtaining grandparent visitation rights in McKinney, contact Camille Borg Law PLLC today at (469) 646-7763 to let our firm provide effective and personalized legal solutions immediately! 

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