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Texas Grandparents' Rights

Presumption of Best Interest Must Be Overcome

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grandparents' rights in Texas

Grandparents' rights may be difficult to assert in Texas, the Lone Star State.

Image © State of Texas

In Texas a court may award a grandparent "reasonable possession of or access to" a grandchild as long as least one biological or adoptive parent still has parental rights. The grandparent must "overcome the presumption" that a parent barring access is acting in the best interest of the child, language which aligns the state with the Supreme Court case of Troxel v. Granville. In order to overcome this presumption, the grandparent must prove that denial would "significantly impair the child's physical health or emotional well-being."

In Texas the grandparent requesting access to a grandchild must be the parent of a parent who is dead, incarcerated, has been found by a court to be incompetent or for other reason does not have "actual or court-ordered possession of or access to the child."

A grandparent may not request access to a grandchild if both biological parents are dead or have had parental rights terminated. In addition, grandparents may not gain access if the grandchild has been adopted by other than a stepparent, or if both parents have executed affidavits designating another person or an agency as "managing conservator" of the child.

See Texas Statutes 153.432-434 and also a page for grandparents maintained by the Texas Attorney General's office.

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