Grandparents’ Rights

Grandparents’ Rights


There are a limited number of circumstances where a grandparent can file an original suit for access and possession. The grandparent must plead in the petition that at least one of the child’s biological parents is still alive, has not had his or her parental rights terminated and has not executed an affidavit of relinquishment of paternal rights or that the child has not been adopted or is not the subject of an adoption brought by a person other than the child’s stepparent. The grandparent can ask the court for temporary access and possession and must ask the court to enter a final order for access and possession.

The Law Office of Ellen Schutz provides representation for grandparents seeking possession and access. The firm’s attorney understands the complex guidelines associated with these cases.

A person with access can communicate with and visit the child but cannot control or take the child away from the parent or conservator. If the relief requested in the petition is granted the grandparent also has the right to take possession of the child for limited period of time.

Are you a grandparent and wondering about your custody or visitation rights? Please call our law office at 214-340-8515 to speak to a lawyer.

Grandparents’ Rights Criteria
In order for a grandparent to obtain access and possession that party must prove all of the following:

  1. At least on of the child’s biological or adoptive parents has not had parental rights terminated
  2. The child’s physical or emotional well-being would be significantly impaired if the grandparent’s access or possession is denied;
  3. The grandparent is the parent of the child’s parent;

And any of the following is true:

  • The child’s parent has been incarcerated for at least three months before the petition was filed
  • The child’s parent has been judicially declared incompetent
  • The child’s parent is dead
  • The child’s parent does not have actual or court-ordered possession of or access to the child

A grandparent can also gain access to a child through a Suit for Conservatorship. A grandparent has standing to file the original suit affecting the parent child relationship if the grandparent is a competent adult that has had actual care, control, and possession of the child for at least six months before the filing of the suit.

The grandparent must also prove that the child’s present circumstances will significantly impair the child’s physical health or emotional developments or the child’s parents, surviving parent, managing conservator or custodian either filed the petition or have consented to the suit.

Phone Consultations
Please contact us today to discuss how we can help you with your family law issue. We provide phone consultations at 214-340-8515. Se habla español. We are centrally located in Dallas.