Is there a grandparent’s rights law?

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Is there a grandparent’s rights law?

My daughter’s father killed himself a few years back. His parents have been taken me to court to get visitation rights. I have always let them see my daughter but they don’t want to deal with me because they blame me for the suicide. So far the judge has not granted them visitation but they claim there is a new law. Is this true?

Asked on November 1, 2010 under Family Law, Texas

Answers:

M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

My research suggests that a grandparent's rights to child visitation are not defined under TX law. This means that a grandparent has no legal standing to sue for visitation under simply a claim that he or she has a legal right to spend time with a grandchild.  However, under certain circumstances, it is possible to ask a judge to grant visitation rights.  Grandparents may be given visitation rights through the court within certain situations. The most common one would be when the parents of the children under consideration are either living apart (through either divorce or separation) for a minimum of 3 months, at least 1 of the parents still has legal custody of the children, and the judge believes as though such visitation would be in the "best interests" of the children. Grandparents could also be awarded visitation rights if the court has ruled that the child is in need of supervision, or perhaps in cases when the child has resided with the grandparents for not less than 6 of the 24 months prior to the submitting of the visitation rights request. 

If a judge enters a visitation order detailing a grandparent's rights and obligations, that order has the full force of law.  At this point, you should consult directly with a family law attorney in your area.


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