Portrait of John K Grubb

Texas Divorce and Prenuptial Agreement

4550 Post Oak Place, Suite 201 • Houston, Texas 77027-3139

Phone: 713-877-8800 • Fax: 713-877-1229

Can I see my grandchildren after their parents’ divorce?

 

There’s no doubt that grandparents play an important role in children’s lives. They give a child emotional support and encouragement, provide unconditional love and acceptance, and serve as role models and mentors. Many adults have fond memories of their grandparents’ silly songs or wise sayings and baking with Grandma or building the birdhouse with Grandpa.

A divorce can sever the grandparent-grandchild relationship, and many Houston grandparents wonder if they have a right to see their grandchildren. Although not common, many grandparents lose contact with their grandchildren if they are estranged from their own children or the Court allowed the custodial parent and the children to relocate.

At the time of a divorce, Texas Family Courts seek to do what is in the children’s best interest. The parents’ wishes are precedent. This gives the parent the right to control who can have contact with the children. If the child’s mother or father does not have a good relationship with his or her parents, the children might not talk to or see their grandparents.

Grandparents don’t have a constitutional right to see their grandchildren. Our State recognizes that many grandparents play an important role in their grandchildren’s lives and grandparents can request the Court to grant access to their grandchildren.

The Texas Family code allows grandparents to petition Houston Family Court for specific visitation periods if one of the following circumstances is met.

 

  • The grandchild’s parents are divorced
  • The parent is incarcerated, declared incompetent, or has died
  • The Courts have terminated the parent-child relationship
  • The non-custodial parent does not have court ordered visitation

 

Grandparents seeking access to their biological grandchildren must prove that one of the conditions is met. Moreover, the grandparent must also convince the court that to deny access to the grandchild would be detrimental to the child’s emotional or physical health.

It must be noted that although the Courts may grant grandparents’ visitation, access to a grandchild will not be granted if the child has been or is in the process of being adopted by persons other than a step-parent. However, there are specific conditions where access to the grandchild may be permitted by the Courts when the child is adopted or in the process of being adopted by a non-family member.

Texas laws concerning grandparents’ rights to grandchildren visitation are intricate. It is best to seek the counsel of an experienced Houston family law attorney to discuss your particular state of affairs.

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