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What Can I Do if I Need Custody of My Grandchildren?

 Posted on October 17, 2022 in Family Law

Denton County grandparents' rights lawyerPerhaps your adult child is in prison or perhaps your daughter does not want her kids. Or maybe you cannot bear the thought of your grandchildren winding up in foster care. If you believe it is time to take on a more permanent role in the life of your grandchildren and you want to file for custody of your grandchildren, you have some legal options, especially if Texas Child Protective Services is involved.

Voluntary Relinquishment 

Here, we will cover the various legal options to gain custody of your grandchild according to the Texas Family Code. Keep in mind that both a biological or adoptive grandparent can sue for custody. 

You could be granted custody of your grandchildren if the parents relinquish their parental rights to you. The parent should not have cared for or had the children with them for six months or more. That should also be the case within 90 days preceding the date of filing the lawsuit. This is an important requirement because often parents change their minds and want their children back.

Courts Can Grant Custody over a Parent’s Objections

In extreme circumstances, such as the parent posing a danger to the child, Child Protective Services in Texas will place the child with the grandparents temporarily. The court may give a grandparent custody, even if at least one of the parents has not had their parental rights terminated. The grandparent will have to prove that denying custody would be detrimental to the child and one of the following will need to be true:

  • One of the parents is dead

  • The parents are divorced

  • At least one parent has not had their parental rights terminated

  • One of the parents has been in jail or prison for three months before the petition is filed

  • One of the parents has been declared incompetent by a court

  • The court has not previously ordered custody to a specific parent

In other cases, if one or both parents are underage and not fit for the job, a grandparent could get custody until the parents are deemed fit.

Proof for a Lawsuit 

Grandparents can file a lawsuit seeking custody of their grandchildren by filing a petition with the court. You will need to show that it is in the best interest of the child to be under your care. The following is required:

  • An affidavit that supports your knowledge or belief that you should have custody

  • Supporting facts in the affidavit

  • An explanation as to why a denial would hurt the child’s health and psyche

Appointing Custody When Parents Have Died

A grandparent may also file for custody if both of the parents have died. However, the child does not automatically go to the grandparents. The court will consider a parent, sister, or brother of the deceased as a managing conservator of the child and then make a decision based on what is in the best interest of the child. To demonstrate to the court that you should be granted custody you could present the following evidence:

  • Dates and times that show continuous involvement in the child’s life

  • Proof that shows you had a positive impact on raising your grandchild

  • Positive notes and messages from your grandchild

  • Documents to demonstrate a stable financial standing 

Contact Our Denton County Grandparents’ Rights Attorney

We strive to make the process easier as you struggle to gain custody of the child you love. An experienced Texas grandparents’ rights attorney can help grandparents overcome roadblocks as they seek custody of their grandchildren. At The Law Office of Linda Risinger we know the intricacies of child custody cases and are here to advocate for you and the child. Call 972-294-6533 for a free consultation.



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