Houston Grandparents’ Rights Lawyer
Grandparents frequently play an essential role in the development and parenting of their grandchildren, and the relationship and bond between them is not erased by the actions of the parents even when they are divorced or by some means are denied legal access to the child. In such situations, it can be difficult for a grandparent to assert their rights when the custodial parent is resistant to visitation. In such a situation, it may be in your best interests to seek the assistance of a skilled legal professional.
At Holmes, Diggs & Sadler, our legal team is committed to providing effective and efficient representation for grandparents seeking to have their rights protected after a divorce affects their family and will work diligently to help you find a resolution to any custody or visitation issue you are dealing with. To learn more about your rights and legal options, call our Houston divorce attorneys today at (713) 802-1777.
Why You Need a Lawyer
Although a grandparent is often a very important member of a child’s life, it can be difficult for a grandparent to obtain the same rights a parent might have when it comes to custody or visitation. Even if a child would be in better hands under the custody of a grandparent than a parent, it can be a long and complicated process to prove this in court. A grandparent will need to prove that gaining visitation or custody rights is in their grandchild’s best interest, and they may be up against resistance from one or both parents, who tend to take priority. Clearly, this can be a stressful and uncertain situation, and trials and negotiations can drag on for a long time. Hiring a trustworthy lawyer who is experienced in cases involving grandparents’ rights to visitation or custody is an important step to placing a child in a happier, and sometimes safer, situation.
Why Choose Us?
At Holmes, Diggs & Sadler, we understand that you’re going through a difficult time. Custody battles and negotiations for visitation rights are often complicated and involve large commitments and sacrifices. We know you would do anything for the wellbeing of your grandchild, and we can help you get the legal results you’re looking for.
We are one of the preeminent law firms in Texas. We hold the highest possible ratings from both Avvo and Martindale-Hubbell, as well as many other accolades including being named among Houston’s Top Lawyers and Texas Monthly’s Top Attorneys. Our lawyers have also been repeatedly named Super Lawyers, including Cindy Diggs, our managing partner, who has been named a Super Lawyer every year since 2009.
Our team has over 90 years of combined experience advocating for Houston families. We also have multiple attorneys who are Board-Certified in Family Law, meaning they have expert knowledge that the vast majority of lawyers do not have. Our many satisfied clients can attest to our professionalism, our efficiency, and our sensitivity during what is undoubtedly a troubling time in your life. Holmes, Diggs & Sadler represents clients with the determination and skill that is necessary to get winning results.
Visitation and Custody Rights
Following a divorce or other significant change to a family’s structure, grandparents may find that there are sudden barriers between them and their grandchildren. So long as it can be demonstrated that visitation from a grandparent is in the best interests of the child, a court may order visitation be allowed in any of the following situations:
- The parents have been divorced
- The child has been subjected to abuse or neglect from the parent
- The parent-child relationship has been terminated by a court order
- The parent has been imprisoned, found incompetent, or has passed away
- The child has lived with the grandparent for at least 6 months in the last two years
Additionally, there are some situations in which a grandparent may wish to file suit for custody of the child on the grounds of the custodial parent or parents being unfit. A skilled attorney will be an essential part of successfully arguing to be granted custody or visitation in any of these circumstances.
Frequently Asked Questions
Grandparents’ rights are a relatively niche area of the law, so you likely have many questions. We have listed the answers to some frequently asked questions below. You can also call us at (713) 802-1777 to hear the answers to any specific questions about your case.
My child won’t let me see my grandchild. What are my rights?
If your child moves away or cuts off contact with you, you do not necessarily have rights to see your grandchild unless you have previously had an established relationship with that child. For example, if your grandchild lived with you previously or if their parents can be proven to be unfit, you may have a case to apply for custody or visitation. Otherwise, there is not always a valid legal reason why you should win visitation or custody. In this case, the best thing you can do is try to repair your family relationships so that you’re no longer cut off from seeing your grandchildren. This could take time, but in the end, making an effort to get along with the child’s parents is the easiest and most likely way for you to continue a relationship with your grandchildren. Ultimately, parents who are not unfit have final rights to decide who gets to interact with their children.
My grandchild lives with me. How do I apply for custody?
Often, when a grandchild lives with a grandparent, it’s because the child’s parents are incarcerated, in rehab, missing, or for some reason out of the picture. In this type of situation, it could be best for the grandparents to be given full custody of the child while the parents are unable to provide them with the care they need. Becoming the child’s guardian will also allow the grandparent to do things like enroll the child in school and oversee visits to the doctor. To become your grandchild’s guardian, you’ll need information about their parents situation and whereabouts, and proof that you becoming their guardian is in their best interests. A lawyer can help you file the appropriate paperwork and get into court.
What should I do if I think my grandchild is in danger with their parents?
If you believe your grandchild is put in imminent danger by living with their parents, you can call Child Protective Services at 1-800-252-5400. Additionally, you may be able to get a court protective order that you can then use to negotiate custody. If your grandchild already lives with you, and their parent wants them back, you should definitely talk to a knowledgeable attorney before making any decisions, especially if you truly believe the child is safer with you. You can also discuss the matter with the child’s parent, letting them know that you believe the best solution for the child is that they stay with you.
At Holmes, Diggs & Sadler, we understand that you, as a grandparent, just want what is best for your grandchild. Whether that involves giving them the opportunity to have a relationship with you through visitation or gaining custody, we can help you win your case. Custody and visitation cases can be long and tiring, while legal nuances can be confusing and frustrating. Don’t let these concerns keep you away from your grandchildren, and don’t hesitate to learn more about your options.
If you are involved in a dispute over your access to your grandchildren, you will likely need effective legal representation in order to protect your rights. For a no-cost legal evaluation of your situation which will help you to learn more about your options in court, call an experienced Houston grandparents’ rights lawyer at Holmes, Diggs & Sadler today at (713) 802-1777.