Grandparents often have strong bonds with their grandchildren, and grandparents getting to see their grandchildren after a divorce is often a concern for parents and grandparents alike. Divorce lawyers in Houston, TX may be able to help grandparents retain access to their grandchildren following a divorce.
Ask Divorce Lawyers in Houston, TX: Can Grandparents’ Rights Affect a Divorce Case?
Grandparents may have certain rights regarding visitation with their grandchildren. However, unless neither parent can take custody of the child, then the grandparents often won’t have much, or even any, involvement in a divorce at all.
However, if visitation with the grandparents is a concern during your divorce, then you should speak to your attorney. Visit this page to learn more about finding the best attorneys to handle your divorce case. The best attorney for the job will be more than willing to talk about grandparents’ rights with you if grandparents having access to your child is a concern.
Are Grandparents Entitled to Visitation Following a Divorce?
Grandparents aren’t automatically entitled to visitation rights following divorce. Generally, it’s up to both parents to allow the grandparents to visit with their children. You may discuss grandparent visitation with your former partner before, during, or after a divorce.
If you’re worried that your former partner won’t allow your child to spend time with their grandparents, then you may wish to ask your attorney about putting something about visitation with the grandparents in your divorce settlement.
What If My Former Spouse Is Denying the Grandparents Access to the Child?
If your former spouse won’t allow your child visitation with their grandparents, then the grandparents may apply for visitation rights. This will usually happen after the divorce, but it may occur during a divorce, too. If access to the child is being denied while the divorce is going on, then you should speak to your attorney about what you can do and about whether the grandparents can apply for visitation rights with the child.
However, the grandparents applying for visitation rights must show that their lack of access to the child is emotionally harmful to the child. They must also show that visitation with the grandparents is within the child’s best interests. Finally, several criteria must be met for the grandparents to be able to request visiting privileges.
Requirements for Grandparents Requesting Visiting Privileges With the Child During or After a Divorce
They Must Be the Child’s Legal Grandparents
The grandparents requesting visiting privileges must legally be the child’s grandparents. This means they must either be biologically related to the child or be the legal adoptive grandparents of the child. Grandparents who are not biologically or adoptively related to the child cannot apply for visitation rights. An example of grandparents who aren’t related to the child may include the parents of a child’s step-parent.
One Parent Must Be Alive
A grandparent can only request visitation rights if one of the child’s parents is still alive. Like the requirements above, the living parent must be the child’s parent, either biologically or through adoption. The parents of a legal guardian who is not the child’s biological or adoptive parent cannot apply for visitation rights.
The Parental Rights Must Not Have Been Terminated
Sometimes a parent’s parental rights regarding their child can be terminated. If a grandparent wishes to seek legal visitation privileges, then their child’s parental rights must not have been terminated. So, for example, if parent A has had their parental rights terminated, then parent A’s parents cannot seek legal visiting privileges regarding their grandchild.
Access Must Have Been Denied by a Parent
One of the child’s parents must have denied the grandparents access to the child. This might happen if parent A does not want parent B’s parents accessing the child for an unfair or personal reason. If a child simply does not want to see their grandparents, but neither parent is denying access, this is unlikely to be a valid reason for granting legal visiting rights.
There are some valid reasons to disallow grandparents to visit with their grandchild. If the child would be in danger or distress when visiting with their grandparents, then denying the grandparents the right to see the child may be the best decision. If you believe your child seeing their grandparents would cause them emotional harm or put them in danger, then tell your attorney at once.
There Must Be Harm to the Child
The child must be experiencing emotional harm by their lack of access to their grandparents. This emotional harm needs to be proven for the grandparents to be allowed to request visiting privileges.
Grandparents’ Rights won’t always impact a divorce, but they can come into play during or after a divorce if the grandparents are not being allowed to visit with their grandchild. If certain circumstances are met, then grandparents can go through the court to request contact with their grandchild if contact is denied by one of the child’s parents.