Raising or caring your grandchildren in the Fort Bend area can come with a myriad of issues. From handling medical care to dealing with educational requirements, you may experience some challenges that were not present when you were raising your children. The chances are good that you have several questions regarding legal issues that may come up.
While a family law attorney is your best source of information when it comes to addressing legal problems you might encounter while raising your grandchild, it is still a good idea to always do your own research so that you know what kinds of questions to ask. Read further to find out more about legal issues you might experience while caring for your grandkids.
Establishing a legal relationship
Without taking the necessary steps required by Texas law, your grandchild's parent can take the child away at any time. You may also have a tough time getting medical treatment for your grandchild without the proper legal standing. In order to establish a legal relationship, you can sue for custody or the parent can turn over custody to you.
You can also establish yourself as the legal guardian. This means that if the court takes the child away from his or her parents, the court will more than likely remand the child to your custody. Another way to establish a legal relationship is by adopting your grandchild.
Terminating parental rights
A judge has the authority to terminate a parent's rights. This means that the parent or parents will lose any right to care for or visit the child. If you have not taken any legal action to gain custody, guardianship or adopt the child, your rights may be affected by the termination.
Grandchild in foster care
If the state has taken legal custody of your grandchildren and put them in foster care, you may be able to request access to them or petition the court to remand them into your custody. If you become a foster parent for your grandchildren through a kinship care program, then you will be legally responsible for the care of them. This includes keeping up with medical care and educational requirements. In these situations, the state usually retains legal custody and will compensate you for expenses related to the care of your grandchildren as it would for any other foster parent.
If you are caring for your grandchildren and want to establish a legal relationship, there are certain avenues you must take to make it official in the eyes of the court.