Sometimes, the best scenario for a child is for their grandparents to raise them. Perhaps the parents simply are not interested in being parents. Perhaps there is an addiction issue or a mental health issue that compels the grandparent to seek custody. Perhaps the child has been left “just for the weekend” and that weekend turned into months on end.
Whatever the reason or reasons are, if you have made the decision to raise your grandchild, you need to know that grandparents’ rights involving custody of grandchildren is a complex issue in Texas.
What Are Your Chances to Gain Custody Over the Objections of a Parent or Parents?
The short version is that it’s not easy to get custody of a grandchild over the objections of a living, legally competent parent. In order to make a successful bid for custody of grandchildren, the grandparent must overcome the legal presumption that awarding a parent, or both parents, primary custody would significantly impair the child’s physical health or emotional development.
This is a difficult burden to overcome. A grandparent vying for custody might show the court that the parents are battling addiction problems. They might also show that the parent is putting the child or children in dangerous situations via the parent’s choice of a new partner or partners.
Getting a Court Order for Grandparent Custody of a Child
Once you get an order for custody of your grandchildren, protect it and protect your position as these children’s conservator. Get several copies of the order and give one to everyone important in these children’s lives: Doctors, school administrators, child care facilities, counselors, even police or close friends, in some circumstances.
If a child is old enough to understand what has been happening with their parents and grandparents, getting them to the right therapist may help stem future issues they might face. You might also ask that person some questions of your own, like how to answer the tough questions: “What’s wrong with my mom?” “Why didn’t my dad want me?” “Don’t my parent’s love me?”
The attorneys at Orsinger, Nelson, Downing & Anderson have worked with some of the best counselors available, and we will be able to help you find the right one for your grandchildren. We also have the connections to present you with options for other resources that you may need before, during and after a grandparent rights and grandchild custody case.