One of the most difficult aspects of a divorce are the ways that this process can impact every member of the family. When parents decide to end their marriage, kids may have less time with their parents, switch homes and may have to adjust to new schedules. It can also impact a child’s relationship with his or her grandparents and how often he or she sees those members of the family. It can strain the important relationships between the children and extended family members.
If you are a grandparent, you may be wondering how a divorce could impact how often you are able to see your grandchildren. You know that grandparents play an important role in the lives of a child, and it is critical that you preserve that bond. You will benefit from learning more about whether grandparents have custody rights and what legal options may be available to you.
What you need to know about your rights
As a grandparent, you may be distraught about how a divorce has affected your entire family. Disruptions in a family can be complex and emotionally challenging to navigate, and you may wonder if the court can compel one or both of the parents to allow you to have time with your children. When a court is making a custody or visitation determination, it will prioritize the best interests of the kids above all else. Some of the factors the court will take into consideration include:
- Age and maturity level of the children
- Special needs of the kids
- Relationship between the grandparent and grandchildren
- Potential mental and emotional effect visitation may have on the child
- History of mental illness of the child or grandparent
- History of abuse or neglect by the grandparent
- Whether grandparent visitation would interfere with parental visitation
- How recently the child has had contact with the grandparent
All of these factors and others will have an impact on the court’s consideration for your request to secure visitation and custody rights. The court will always give preference to the parents and their wishes barring cases involving abuse or neglect. Before you move forward or make any important decisions, you will benefit from seeking experienced guidance regarding the legal options that may be available to you as a Texas grandparent.