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Parents and grandparents involved in child custody disputes

A Texas law has been in place for more than 20 years in order to make certain that grandparents are not deprived of the right to see their grandchildren after a divorce has taken place. However, the law is not without its controversies as the law supposedly has been used in such a manner that parents have lost their child custody rights.

As in all family law legislation where children are concerned, the goal is to do what is in the best interest of children. However, some have asserted that the Texas Grandparent Access law is being used as a tool for grandparents to be engaged in child custody battles with the parents of the child.

Such a circumstance occurred where a Texas parent ended up fighting a child custody battle with her own mother and father. She sent her 15-year old boy to stay with his grandparents after the child was exhibiting behavioral issues. However, rather than send the child back or enroll the boy in a program as promised, the grandparents filed papers with the court seeking custody of the child. The mother is now seeking to regain custody of the child in another state.

There is talk about amending the law eliminating temporary orders being issued against parents for anything other than abuse or neglect. Opponents of such changes feel the law already addresses the appropriate circumstances for such orders to be made.

As to whether one agrees or disagrees that such changes to the law are needed, attorneys that represent parents in child custody matters will argue from the perspective of what is in the child's welfare.

Source: KCBD, "Critics: Grandparent access law threatens parental rights," by Natasha Sweatte and James Clark, August 27, 2012

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