When Should a Grandparent Intervene if a Child Is Being Mistreated?

Grandparents and grandchildren being happy.

The Texas state court system generally tries to keep children with their biological parents during custody battles or when abuse occurs in the household. However, sometimes what’s best for the children is to be placed in a more stable household.

Unfortunately, grandparents have no automatic custody rights to their grandchildren. However, the law does provide the ability for grandparents to seek custody in certain situations.

When Should a Grandparent Intervene and How to Take Legal Action

If there is an existing court case regarding your grandchild’s well-being, you can file a lawsuit for grandparent intervention. The law will always favor biological parent custody if it can, so you must have evidence of mistreatment of the child. If you believe you have solid evidence, you can petition the court to become the legal guardian.

The easiest way to gain custody of your grandchild is for their parents to sign a power of attorney that gives you the right to make decisions for the child. Beware, though: Most parents are unwilling to do this, even when they know it would be the better option for their child.

To become the legal guardian, you must prove:

  • you are the biological grandparent;
  • at least one parent still has parental rights; and
  • not having access to your grandchild would impair the child’s physical and emotional well-being.

Types of Guardianship

Possessory Conservatorship
By establishing the factors above, you may be able to get possessory conservatorship of the child. With possessory conservatorship, you will not be able to exercise the same rights as a parent or handle decisions regarding education, healthcare, or other important child developmental factors. However, you will be granted visitation rights so you can check up on the child and make sure they are being properly taken care of.

Managing Conservatorship
This type of guardianship allows you to take on parental responsibilities. Your grandchild will live with you and you will be able to exercise the same rights as a parent. In addition, you may receive child support from the parents, if the court deems it appropriate.

To be granted managing conservatorship, you must prove:

  • your grandchild lives in an emotionally or physically damaging environment;
  • the parent consents to you becoming the managing conservator;
  • you have been caring for your grandchild for 6 months or more; and
  • your child and grandchild have been living with you for 6 months or more.

In addition to the points mentioned above, you must also prove that becoming the legal guardian of the child is in their best interest. The primary concern of the Texas court system is always the child’s best interest.

The court also takes these factors into consideration when deciding guardianship:

  • the wishes of the child, if the child is old enough to make decisions;
  • the child’s emotional and physical needs; and
  • your physical, financial, and mental capabilities.

Consult The Springer Law Firm

Our grandparental rights attorneys know how emotionally charged cases like this can be. We are a compassionate law firm that will do everything we can to help you gain custody of your grandchildren.

Call us today at (281) 990-6025 or contact us onlinefor a legal consultation.

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