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Laura Dale & Associates, P.C.

What factors play into grandparents' custody rights?

Sometimes, grandparents in Texas may decide that they want custody of their grandchildren. This is not always easy to do, but it can be done. It's very important for grandparents to know what factors play into the decision. This way, they can see exactly what has to be shown for them to be granted the custody they seek over an immediate parent. Some things considered include:

-- If the parents are abusive. This is a huge one. When Child Protective Services finds that parents are abusive, they will work to get the children out of the home immediately, and this can then translate into custody being given to grandparents to keep the child from foster care. These things sometimes come to light during a divorce.

-- A healthy living situation for the child. Parents do not need to be abusive to create an unhealthy living situation, but could do so by having illegal drugs or weapons in the home, for instance, or by failing to provide a clean living area with all of the things children need most—like food and clothing.

-- Whether or not the grandparents are able to give the child what he or she needs. Sometimes, health could come into this. If grandparents have health issues, the court may determine that they cannot provide enough care for young children who need constant supervision.

-- What the parents and the child want. It's possible that the parents could be all for the change, wanting the children to move in with their grandparents, and this can sway the decision. Likewise, if the children are very much for it or against it, the court will take that into account.

Source: FIndLaw, "Factors Considered for Grandparent Visitation and Custody," accessed Sep. 24, 2015

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