Skip to comments.Grandparents
Posted on 01/14/2013 10:48:33 AM PST by Allen In Texas Hill Country
The wife and I have an ongoing disagreement about the legal rights of grandparents. I know the internet is not necessarily the right place to go to ask/get legal opinions but this is FR and I believe every thing I read here.(/sarc)
Can the parents (of sound mind) prevent garandparents (of sound mind) from seeing underage grandchildren? I say absolutely and she says grandparents have a legal right to see their grandchildren. Can anybody safely shed a bit of light here? Thanks.
In Texas, a court can authorize grandparent visitation of a grandchild if visitation is in the child's best interest, and one of the following circumstances exists:
The parents divorced;
The parent abused or neglected the child;
The parent has been incarcerated, found incompetent, or died;
A court-order terminated the parent-child relationship; or The child has lived with the grandparent for at least six months.
So it sounds like if you are in an intact family and none of the situations mention above exist, the grandparents are SOL...
My daughter and her husband’s mother have some deep problems between them. She’d once said I don’t want my kids around her. What I told her is that regardless of how she feels about her husband’s mother, she shouldn’t keep the children from her, at least in cases of holidays, birthdays, the occasional weekend stay, etc.
She can ‘deprogram’ the kids when they get home if she has to. Otherwise, it would do nothing but create more problems with the grandmother, and even worse problems with her husband.
1. A parent is deceased and visitation granted to the deceased parent's parents would be in the best interests of the child as determined by the court; or
2. The granchild has resided with the grandparent(s) for at least a 12 month period.
These are some of the saddest cases. 99% of the time, the kid loses no matter what.
Unfortunately, I have some experience in this area.
In Texas, grandparents have no inherent legal right to see the grandkids.
Freepmail me if you want more info.
Answer: yes, parents of sound mind get to decide 100% who gets to see their children. Which is as it should be. Sorry if it doesn’t work for you.
I think that the best course of action is highly dependent on the circumstances.
If the grandparents behavior is so outrageous that it becomes a matter of the children’s psychological or physical safety then it is not right to rely on “deprogramming” just to make everyone happy. For example a child witnessing an alcoholic tirade is not easily deprogrammed. Once innocence is lost it can not be recovered. Also undermining parental teachings regarding matters of morality could be confusing to children.
On the other hand if the nature of the disagreements are more personal in nature then your approach would work well. For example if MIL really wanted son to marry someone else.
I am not making a judgment on the advice you gave to your daughter just pointing out that this doesn’t work in every case.
Of course, I agree with you. My advice was based on the underlying problem and knowledge of my SILs mother. My daughter is stubborn - just like me, and she can hold a grudge. If I felt my grand daughters were in danger such as you noted, I would have told her differently.
Depends. On the state. For instance grandparents have visitation rights in NC. I work very hard to maintain a good relationship with my son’s x-wife so I have full access to my grandaughter. It does not hurt that the x-wife fully understands that I have legal rights.
Nope. You have absolute power of your children and assume all responsibility for their actions as well.
The grandparents do not have any privileges, nor does anyone else, cept those you grant.
No one has the authority to undermine how you raise your children.
These initiatives may or may not get a hearing, but action is rarely taken and the bills ultimately pass away.
I present this without comment as to the emotional "right" or "wrong" of what ought to be. Grandparents do not have any rights "we are bound to respect."
And I'm a grandparent, too, by the way.
This is a state by state issue although there is a case, Troxel, which was heard by the Supremes. The statute (I think it was Washington state) was held by the court to be overbroad so that basically anyone, in this case the day care provider, could over ride the parents’ decision to withhold the child. The dissenting (or maybe concurring) opinion by Kennedy laid out how to get a state statute to comply with the constitution and allow grandparents, stepparents and even same sex partners to have continued access to children.
I practice family law in Kansas and have for over 30 years. Here there is a specific statute which has been tested and has held. I allows even the grandparents to have access under certain circumstances even where the parents have not divorced. If, however, the grandparents lose, they have to pay all the fees of the parents so it is not used lightly. It generally turns on whether there are significant contacts between the child and the grandparent or step parent. (no case law here on same sex “parents” and the statute is silent - see my posts however on the Lesbian couple in Topeka and the sperm donor child support issue)
So any grandparent who wants access to his, her grandchild should contact an experienced family law attorney in the court where the child lives. Good luck.
Don’t boo hoo too much for grandparents who don’t get to see their grandkids. There are times when it’s the right thing to do.
I know two families personally where grandpa is a registered sex offender. The children in both cases have decided to err on the side of caution and have kept their kids at a distance.
Correct answer. Sad as the individual cases may be.
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