Grandparents rights can be a challenging aspect of any custody case. Grandparents often have very strong attachments to their grandchildren, and when a divorce happens, it can significantly alienate the grandparent’s time with the grandchildren. It’s normal to have questions about what legal avenues you may be able to pursue if trying to work an arrangement out with the parents is not possible. However, if the child is part of one of the Native American tribes, it can make things even more difficult.
Because the Indian Child Welfare Act of 1978 was designed to help protect Native American cultures, it also governs what happens to children who are part of custody disputes, relocations or adoption proceedings within the tribes. This could mean that in a situation involving a grandparent adoption or something similar, grandparents who are part of the tribe may have an initial advantage is showing they can keep the child within the culture.
Situations where the grandparents are asking for custody of the child or a court-ordered visitation schedule can also be impacted by the Indian Child Welfare Act. Because of this, it’s important to have legal representation familiar with the Act as well as the other Texas family law guidelines that may be applicable to your situation.
At Laura Dale & Associates, we have experience working with these kinds of cases and can help you better understand what the laws say and what your legal options may be. Getting your questions answered and gathering as much information as possible is the first step toward moving forward.