Grandparent Rights Dallas County

Grandparent Rights Dallas County

Grandparent Rights Dallas CountyGrandparents are often the foundation of a family unit, the cornerstone. They are there as support for both their children and grandchildren. Becoming a grandparent is one of the most joyous occasions. Grandparents are often one of the first calls when a situation with a child pops up and the parent does not know quite what to do, they are some of the biggest sources of support. They can be wise counsel for their children and a source of fun and comfort for their grandchildren. They are often there for all the big events in a child’s life and many of the little moments in between. Unfortunately, like other members of the family unit, grandparents often suffer when a petition for divorce is filed. Grandparents are often left wondering what happens to their relationship with their grandchildren when their child decides to get divorced, especially if the split is particularly nasty. Often times parents lose sight of the goal of doing what is best for their children, their obligation as a parent to put them first, and instead make it their goal throughout the divorce proceedings to punish their soon to be ex-spouse. In these cases, the children and the grandparents can become collateral damage. It is important for you to know that as a grandparent you do have rights. If you are a grandparent in Dallas County and would like to know what rights you have, reach out to a knowledgeable, experienced attorney to help you.

 

The Texas family code specifically allows for the request of possession or of access to a child by a grandparent as long as you qualify under some specific rules. According to § 153.432 of the Texas Family Code, as a biological or adoptive grandparent, you can petition for possession of or access to your grandchild by filing a suit. This can be an original suit or a modification, but you will need to show that denial of possession of or access to the grandchild would significantly impair the child’s physical health or emotional well-being. While denial of access to your grandchild negatively affects you, the court will be concerned with how it affects the child, so that is what you will need to show. You will need to be able to present facts that explain clearly to the court that you were an important part of your grandchild’s life and that removal of you from their life will be detrimental to the well-being of the child.

 

In a suit affecting the parent-child relationship, the goal of the court is always to consider what is in the best interest of the child who is the subject of the suit. As a grandparent, it will be pertinent for you to show that spending time with you is in the best interest of that child. If you are being shut out of your grandchildren’s lives in the midst of a divorce, the attorneys at Scroggins Law Group, PLLC would be happy to speak with you and advise you on what steps to take next.

 

Another right you may want to exercise as a grandparent is the right to seek full custody of your grandchild.  In order to do this, there are a few specific circumstances under which you may qualify. According to Texas Family Code § 102.003, if you have been the person who has had actual care, control, and possession of the subject child for at least six months, you have standing to file a child custody suit. Those six months cannot have ended more than 90 days preceding the filing of the suit. As a grandparent, according to the Texas Family Code, you may also have standing to file a child custody suit if the child’s parents are deceased, if the child’s parents consent, or if the child’s present circumstances are a danger to the child’s physical or emotional health.

 

Just like with grandparents’ visitation rights, in a grandparent custody suit, the court will still look at what is in the best interest of the child. As the grandparent seeking custody, you will need to show that granting you custody is best for the child. Even when a grandparent has a great relationship with the child in question and is a major part of their life the court is not going to grant custody to the grandparent, without the consent of the parent, unless it is in the best interest of the child. It can be extremely tough to gain custody as a grandparent against the parent’s wishes. The court is going to carefully examine the parent-child relationship and the grandparent child relationship. They do not easily turn over custody of a child to a grandparent when at least one of the child’s parents is still in the picture and has not voluntarily surrendered their rights. Generally, unless it is proved that the parent is unable to make sound decisions regarding the child, they will maintain custody of the child and will be able to determine if and when the grandparents can see the child.

 

Grandparent custody cases, like most legal issues, can be very tricky. It would be wise of you to seek an attorney who is knowledgeable not only of the law but also of the court system where you will be filing your suit. The attorneys at Scroggins Law Group, PLLC are experts in family law, having two attorneys Board Certified in Family Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization, and bringing many years of experience to the table. They are familiar with the judges, courts, and local rules in Dallas County. Having an expert on your side is a source of comfort during an extremely stressful time and can help assure you that you are doing everything possible to achieve your goal and create a life that is in the best interest of your grandchild.

 

If you are a grandparent and want to exercise your rights regarding either the possession and access to your grandchildren or the custody of your grandchildren, contact a lawyer specialized in grandparent rights Dallas County trusts. Call the expert attorneys at Scroggins Law Group, PLLC to set up an initial consultation. The attorneys at Scroggins Law Group, PLLC can be reached at scrogginslawgroup.com or you can call the office at 214-469-3100.

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    *Mark L. Scroggins is *board-certified in family law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. Unless otherwise noted, other attorneys are not *board-certified.

    **Super Lawyers (a Thomson Reuters service, awarded to Mark Scroggins 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019)

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