San Antonio Grandparents’ Rights Attorneys
Grandparents do not have guaranteed legal rights to visit their grandchildren. In Texas, the court can grant grandparents visitation rights or full physical custody of a child. Even if the grandparents establish a relationship with the child early on, if the child’s parents get a divorce, one set of grandparents could lose their connection to the child. In this case, grandparents seek visitation rights for the child. Physical custody is generally only an option if the parents are negligent or unable to properly care for the child.
As a grandparent, you have a special relationship with your grandchild and deserve to be a part of the child’s life. If the child’s parents are trying to keep your grandchild from you, you will need the help of the law to protect your right to be part of your grandchild’s life. Grandparents’ rights cases are complicated and highly emotional, meaning you need an attorney who is familiar with these types of cases on your side. At Higdon, Hardy & Zuflacht, L.L.P., our experienced San Antonio grandparents’ rights attorneys will do everything we can to help you and your family get the outcome you deserve.
To find out more about our legal services and how we can advocate for your rights, call us today at (210) 349-9933 for an initial consultation.
Factors in Grandparents’ Rights Cases
In matters concerning a child’s well-being, the best interests of the child are always the deciding factor in court. However, the best interests of the child are not always clear; decisions about custody and visitation rights can vary from court to court. Some of the most important factors in deciding the best interests of the child can include:
- The past relationship between the grandparents and child
- The emotional and physical ability of the grandparents to provide for the child
- The preferences of the child if the child is at least 12 years old
- The physical distance between the child and the grandparents
- Any evidence of physical abuse or substance abuse by the parents
- Any evidence of neglect or the inability to care for the child by the parents
The court is generally more willing to work with grandparents to provide visitation rights. If grandparents are seeking physical custody, or conservatorship, the grandparents must prove the parents are unable to care for the child and provide a stable home environment. Each custody case is different, but a knowledgeable lawyer can help guide you through the particulars of your case and help determine what is best for your family.
Grandparents’ Rights to Visitation and Custody
If a child’s parents get divorced, or there is another significant change to the family dynamic, grandparents might have difficulties seeing their grandchildren. If you can demonstrate that visitation is in their best interest, you might be able to ask the court to grant you visitation rights. It will be granted in any of these situations:
- The child lived with you for a minimum of six months within the last two years
- The parents got divorced
- A court order terminated the parent-child relationship
- The child was the victim of neglect or abuse by their parent or parents
- The parent was found incompetent, passed away, or is serving time in prison
Under other circumstances, you could also file a lawsuit for custody of your grandchild. If you have a role in raising them and believe their parent or parents are no longer able to adequately fill that role, you could file for full legal custody (conservatorship).
During custody battles between two parents, if you sue for visitation, custody, child support, or other issues that impact the parent-child relationship, this is called a Suit Affecting the Parent-Child Relationship (SAPCR). If you’re the grandparent and wish to file this type of lawsuit, you must have had actual control, care, and possession of the child for at least six months in the last 90 days. Even if you were living with both the parent and your grandchild during this period, you could still petition for custody as long as you were responsible and cared for them.
Even if you haven’t had possession of your grandchild for six months, you might be able to file suit as long as you can prove the parent is unfit, and that the child has been in situations that are potentially damaging.
Although the parent is typically the initial choice for custody, a judge will always take into consideration the best interests of the child when making their decision.
We understand this can be an overwhelming process. We will help you get through it and handle every legal aspect of your case so you can focus on what’s most important: your grandchild’s health, happiness, and safety.
Contact a San Antonio Grandparents’ Rights Attorney
At Higdon, Hardy & Zuflacht, L.L.P., we understand that the most important part of your life is your family. Our compassionate custody rights attorneys want to make sure you can do what’s best for your family. We will do everything we can to protect your right to be part of your grandchild’s life. Please do not hesitate to contact our San Antonio offices at (210) 349-9933 today.
You can depend on our knowledge, experience, and dedication to get the job done. Our partners are all board-certified in family law. Less than 1 percent of Texas lawyers attain that certification. When you hire us, you can feel confident knowing you’re in excellent hands.
We believe in providing our clients with personalized attention throughout their case. We will stay by your side from start to finish and help you fight for your rights. Our legal team is available 24/7, so you can reach us at a time that’s most convenient for you. We will be here to help you get through this challenging time in your life.
If you need help with visitation, custody, or another issue affecting your relationship with your grandchild, schedule your initial consultation with Higdon, Hardy & Zuflacht, L.L.P.. Please do not hesitate to contact our San Antonio offices at (210) 349-9933 today.