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How do grandparents' rights affect grandparents' visitation?

When some people think of grandparents' rights, they might think only about a grandparent trying to get custody of a grandchild. That is only one aspect of grandparents' rights. In Texas, there aren't any automatic rights for grandparents. Instead, the grandparents either have to have the permission of the child's parent or an order from the court.

Do grandparents need both of a child's parents' permission to visit with the child?

Only one parent has to give permission for a child to visit with grandparents. In the case of divorced parents, only the parent who currently has the child can grant grandparents' visitation. This means that if the child's mother has primary custody, but the child's father has the child for the weekend, only the child's father would have to give permission for the grandparents to see the grandchild if it is his weekend with the child.

What kinds of visits with a grandparent can I let my child have?

Generally, grandparents can have whatever type of visits you deem appropriate. That is, they can have overnight visits with their grandchildren and even take a vacation with the child. It is important for you to remember that even in those cases, the child must be brought back to the other parent at the scheduled time.

Grandparents' rights are still something that many people don't fully understand. For parents and grandparents, understanding the specifics of these rights can help you decide how to handle certain situations. Of course, you should seek out answers to your questions if you have a specific situation you are concerned about.

Source: Legal Aid of NorthWest Texas, "Grandparents' Rights," accessed April. 09, 2015

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