Grandparents in Texas have long had difficulty in obtaining ordered visitation with their grandchildren through the state court system. Texas state law has historically had a loophole that allowed custodial parents to restrict visitation, as the state does not guarantee visitation rights for grandparents.
In fact, grandparents have actually found it easier to take complete custody of a child away from their biological parent when they can be proven unfit in some manner. This often becomes a battle of financial resources when cases keep going to court, which has been a common scenario in Texas.
Texas House Bill 575 aims to help those grandparents and parents who have had to deal with this legal situation through a family law attorney who can present the case accurately to the court.
Changes in the Bill
The current statute that applies to child visitation is solely directed at parents. The current law only makes an exception for grandparents of children with a deceased or mentally incapacitated parent with whom they cannot spend quality time.
This puts children of divorced living parents in a category where the custodial parent can restrict or outright deny visitation with their grandparents on their non-custodial side. Some grandparents and grandchildren have actually gone their entire childhood without really knowing their grandparents. The law will effectively change this predicament.
The immediate impact of the law will mean that parents could be pursued by grandparents for visitation, as it could potentially impact every separated family in the state. Regardless of financial resources to enact a case, all grandparents would have the standing to petition the custodial parents for visitation just as a biological parent.
Grandparents can offer great emotional support for children as they grow, giving a sense of belonging for both sides of their family. It will not end all of the problems associated with raising children in separated families, but it is assuredly a solid step in the right direction for maintaining healthy generational relationships for dependent children.
Why Legal Counsel is Necessary
Cases involving grandparent visitation rights will be very similar to those where parents must agree on a parenting plan for their children following a legal separation or divorce. It means the grandparents will have reasonable visitation assigned to them as well.
Petitions can be processed using mediation whenever possible, or the state can issue a visitation ruling from the bench. Regardless of the legal avenue to a remedy, all parties will need legal representation from an experienced family law attorney who has evaluated the new law and knows how to craft an acceptable case to the court.
Anyone in Texas who may be impacted by the new grandparents’ visitation law should contact a family law attorney who can successfully represent the request. Your lawyer can make a difference, and that difference maker in Austin is Benouis Law.
Contact our firm at 512-764-3932 for a case evaluvation.