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When Texas grandparents may seek custody of grandchildren

Like other states, Texas has laws in place that preserve the rights of grandparents to seek custody of their grandchildren when they are subject to abuse, neglect or other situations where their health or well-being is threatened. There are specific cases where grandparents may seek custody of a grandchild. Even when a child lives in poor conditions, it may be difficult for grandparents to obtain those rights.

There are a few reasons why grandparents seek custody of their grandchildren. Generally, when a judge determines that it is not in a child's best interests to continue living with their parents, they may place the child in the care of his or her grandparents. Children who live with an abusive or neglectful parent, who are exposed to drug or alcohol abuse or whose parents have been sentenced to a jail or prison term may be removed from their parents' care. Even in these cases, a judge may determine that someone other than the child's grandparents, such as another family member or a foster family, may be better suited to meet the child's needs.

The costs of raising a child are often high, and grandparents awarded custody of a child may benefit from financial help from their grandchildren's parents. Both parents of a child are legally required to support their child financially. Grandparents may be able to seek child support from their grandchildren's parents after they receive custody.

The legal issues surrounding grandparent custody of children are often complex, and grandparents may not always be able to successfully obtain custody when the child's parents fail to care for them. Family law attorneys who have experience in these matters can provide assistance to grandparents in advocating for custody and help them seek child support later on.

Source: The Attorney General of Texas, "Grandparents' Page", accessed on Feb. 4, 2015

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