Grandparents' Rights in Austin
Grandparents play an important role in the lives of their grandchildren. In the United States, grandparents have the freedom to seek visitation privileges and child custody. Although the exact rules vary from state to state, the general principle behind them remains the same: the relationship between a grandparent and their grandchild should be protected. When a grandparent believes that obtaining child custody is in the best interest of his/her grandchild, he/she may file suit to obtain custody of the grandchild.
Will the court authorize grandparent visitation?
Visitation states vary from state to state. Generally speaking, the court grants grandparent visitation if the child's parents are divorced, the child was abused/neglected by one parent, the parent is incarcerated, the parent died, the parent is incapacitated, the parent-child relationship has been terminated, or the child has lived with his/her grandparent for more than six months. In Texas, visitation statutes do not guarantee visitation rights. Additionally, the grandparent will not be granted visitation privileges if the child has been legally adopted. The court can make an exception to this rule if the child was adopted by a step-parent.
When should a grandparent seek child custody?
If your grandchild lives with you, you may be able to file suit to obtain child custody. In Texas, both parents are financially responsible for the wellbeing of their natural children – including medical support and other expenses. If you obtain custody of your grandchild, you can seek child support from your grandchild's parents. Child support payments can be used to pay for the child's basic needs, including:
- School activities
Older children may incur additional costs. For instance, a teenager may need money for car insurance and gasoline. Child support payments are based on each parent's income, the child's needs, etc.
Seeking the Best Interest of the Child
In the United States, court rulings related to child custody and visitation are determined by the best interest of the child. If you are a grandparent seeking visitation or custody, you must be able to demonstrate that visitation and custody are in your grandchild's best interest. This may seem like a simple task, but some judges are reticent to overrule parental decisions because they can upset the child's family unit. Generally speaking, parental preferences undermine the grandparent's wishes – unless the grandparent is able to demonstrate that the child's parent(s) are unfit. Sometimes, the court decides that it is in the best interest of the child to deny the grandparent custody or visitation. To learn more, contact the Austin family lawyers from our firm today.
What can an Austin family lawyer do for you?
Are you seeking custody of your grandchild? Are you a parent seeking to retain your rights as a mother or father? Our Austin divorce attorneys have the skill and experience to help you fight for your family's future. Our lawyers are Board Certified® in family law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization and always strive to achieve the highest level of professionalism in our work. We offer legal services in a wide-variety of practice areas, including child custody, child support, fathers' rights, property division, protective orders, alimony, annulment and uncontested divorce. Contact a lawyer from Menduni Martindill today to see what the firm can do for your case. We are passionate about our work and make sure that each of our clients receives the care and attention to detail that they need. When you're facing a complicated issue related to family law, you want an Austin family attorney from our firm fighting for you.