Under certain circumstances, Texas law does allow a grandparent to file a petition for visitation rights with a grandchild.
First, you must be able to demonstrate that denial of access to your grandchild will significantly impair your grandchild’s physical health or safety and emotional well being; AND that the child’s parent isn’t acting in your grandchild’s best interest. The Texas Family Code stipulates that for a Judge to grant a grandparent’s request for visitation with a grandchild, the grandparent seeking visitation must be a biological or adopted grandparent. Step grandparents may not be granted visitation. Also, at least one of the child’s parents (biological or adopted) must continue to have parental rights to the child and have not had parental rights terminated.
In addition, a grandparent must overcome the presumption that the parent is acting in the best interest of the child and that denial of visitation with the grandchild would significantly impair the grandchild’s physical health and emotional well-being.
Lastly, a grandparent must show that he or she is a parent of a the parent of the grandchild and that the parent of the grandchild:
- Has been incarcerated during the three month period prior to your filing the suit;
- Has been found by a court to be incompetent;
- Your child has died; or
- Your child does not have actual or court-ordered possession or access to your grandchild;
The grandparent seeking relief from the Court will be required to file a sworn affidavit with facts supporting their beliefs or allegations.