Texas Grandparents’ Rights
Grandparent Access | Grandparent Custody
In June, 2000, the U.S. Supreme Court in Troxel v. Granville, in one of its rare decisions in the Family Law area, reshaped the definition of family by determining who has the power to control possession of minor children. The decision has been hailed as a victory for parents rights and a defeat for grandparents rights. However, the decision should not have a tremendous effect in Texas for reasons hereafter stated.
In Troxel, the surviving parent of a child objected, not to the parental grandparents having possession of the grandkids, but to the amount of time of possession. The case, procedurally, affirmed the Washington Supreme Court’s overturning of its non-parent possession statute, which was called “breathtakingly broad”, by the U.S. Supreme Court. In essence, the U.S. Supreme Court indicated that it disapproves of an extremely broad statute that allows any person-including any person from off the street-from being able to have standing to come into Court and force a parent to show a judge that it is not in the child’s best interest for this third party to have possession rights. The U.S. Supreme Court noted that all fifty states have grandparent possession statutes and was unwilling to extend this Troxel ruling beyond the, again, “breathtakingly broad” Washington statute.
In 2005 and again in 2009, the Texas legislature modified the Grandparent Access statutes in sections 153.432 and 153.433 of the Texas Family Code be more compliant with the requirements of Troxel and other recent Texas Supreme Court decisions. While the bar has definitely been raised for Grandparents to successfully gain access to their grandchildren, these suits can still be successful.
If you are one of the many grandparents who have heard that Grandparent rights are gone, call us so that we can explain to you why this is Not True.
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We hope the information provided here is helpful. Please call our office with any questions you may have. Unless otherwise indicated, attorneys listed in this site are not certified by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. This web site is designed for general information only. The information at this site should not be construed to be formal legal advice nor the formation of a lawyer/client relationship.
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