A divorce not only terminates the legal and financial connection between the two individuals who had been married; it also affects extended family relationships. In some families, the bond formed between the children of the divorcing couple and their aunts, uncles, cousins or grandparents can be substantial. Of these relationships, only grandparental interests have any legal recognition in divorce, and only then to a limited extent.
If you are a parent interested in finding out about the grandparent visitation rights that your own parents or those of your spouse might obtain in your divorce, or if you are a grandparent whose relationship with your grandchildren is under threat, contact family law attorney James P. Sadler. You’ll learn about the legal and practical considerations that affect your interests on either side of a grandparent rights issue and receive effective advocacy from an experienced and accomplished attorney.
Grandparent visitation rights are not freely granted. The opposition of one or both parents will often be enough to justify denial of the request. In order to present a strong case for visitation, the grandparent will need to show that a substantial relationship with the grandchild existed in the first place, and that the recognition of that relationship through formal access rights would be in the child’s best interests.
Even when that case can be established, the court needs to give careful consideration to the greater degree of legal protection to which the parent-child relationship itself is entitled. If it appears that grandparent visitation would interfere with parental authority or prerogatives, the court will probably not grant the grandparent a right of regular access. If the motivation for the parent’s opposition to the grandparent’s request is suspect, however, with little more behind it than a wish to punish the former spouse, then grandparent visitation will more likely be granted.
Mr. Sadler also advises parents and grandparents in child custody cases that present a different set of legal and practical challenges. If a sole or joint managing conservator with primary physical custody of a child is, for whatever reason, no longer able to provide a safe or stable home, grandparent custody is often the best available solution. Our law firm can advise you about the legal and procedural factors that can lead to a positive outcome under this range of circumstances.
For more information about our experience with the complex considerations and strategies that can affect access and custody questions across multiple generations in a Texas divorce, contact us at (325) 227-6738 for a confidential consultation.