When Texas couples divorce, the ripples of the aftermath tends to affect more than the immediate family. Grandparents often feel the impact, especially when one parent wants to cut off contact once the divorce is complete. The Attorney General of Texas notes that the state can grant grandparents visitation rights if the courts deem it within a child’s best interests; however, any grandparent who wants to petition for them may want to understand certain laws and limitations regarding their rights.
Basic visitation rights
Texas law allows grandparents visitation rights after a divorce and any grandparent may petition the court for assistance with a visitation schedule. Those who petition the court for visitation may want to understand that while statutes for these rights exist, they are not guaranteed by the state. Generally, a judge assigned to the case reviews the relationship between the child and the grandparents and makes a decision based on what is best for that child before granting or denying visitation.
Denial of visitation rights
In some cases, Texas grandparents may have limited visitation rights or none at all depending on the circumstances of the divorce and who takes custody of a child in the aftermath. After a traditional divorce, if the courts deem the grandparents an essential part of a child’s life, the grandparents can likely pursue visitation. Several exceptions to this rule exist, including:
- If someone other than a step-parent adopts the child
- The judgment of a court
- If the child/grandparent relationship is not beneficial to the child
A judge may also request input from older children regarding their wishes regarding grandparents’ visitation.
Texas grandparents may want to file a petition for visitation as soon as possible once their grandchildren’s parents divorce, as this can properly secure and protect their rights.