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Legal Information: Texas


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November 5, 2020

I am the child’s grandparent. Can I get possession of or access to the child (visitation)?

A grandparent can request possession of or access to his/her grandchild.  Much of the judge’s decision will be based on various factors relating to the grandparent’s child (the parent of the grandchild in question).  The judge should give the grandparent visitation if:

  • the grandparent’s child’s (in other words, the parent’s) parental rights have not been terminated; and
  • the grandparent proves to the judge that denying visitation would significantly harm the grandchild’s physical or emotional well-being; and
  • the grandparent’s child (in other words, the parent):
    •   has been incarcerated for at least 3 months leading up to the grandparent’s visitation request; or
    •   has been found by the court to be incompetent; or
    •   is dead; or
    •   does not have possession of or access to the child.1

A grandparent cannot request possession of or access to a grandchild if the grandchild has been or is in the process of being adopted (by a person other than the child’s stepparent) and both of the child’s biological parents:

  • are dead;
  • had their parental rights terminated; or
  • signed an “affidavit of waiver of interest in child” or an “affidavit of relinquishment of parental rights,” which designated the Department of Family and Protective Services, a licensed child-placing agency, or a person other than the child’s stepparent as the managing conservator of the child.2

1 Tex. Fam. Code § 153.433
2 Tex. Fam. Code § 153.434