It is the court’s job to decide what is in the best interest of the child when it comes to custody cases. The courts will usually presume that the biological parents have the best interests of the child in mind, but what happens when parents are absent or endanger the child? Can grandparents gain custody of their grandchildren to provide them with a more stable life?
While it is possible for grandparents to obtain guardianship of their grandchildren in Texas, it can be difficult in certain situations.
Is the biological parent in agreement?
According to FindLaw, grandparents may have a difficult time gaining custody of their grandchildren if the parent objects to the decision. In these cases, grandparents must prove that the parents are unfit to raise the child. If the grandparent provides sufficient proof that the parents are unfit, the court may terminate their parental rights and grant custody to the grandparent.
If the parents agree that it would be easier to place the child with his or her grandparents, they may voluntarily terminate their parental rights. This route is much easier for grandparents seeking custody.
What makes a parent unfit?
According to 153.433 of the Texas Family Code, the courts may deem a parent unfit if the grandparent can prove that the child’s physical or emotional well-being is at risk. This includes physical or emotional abuse of any kind, either to the child directly or occurring where a child can witness it. If the parents hit each other in front of the child, for example, this is still grounds to prove them unfit, even if they never physically hit the child.
While gaining custody of a grandchild in Texas can be difficult if the parent objects, it is not impossible. The courts will always try to rule in favor of the best outcome for the child.