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Grandparents' Rights

This legal research guide provides information on the rights of grandparents in regard to their grandchildren, including custody issues.

Visitation


Grandparents' Rights to Visitation and Access

Grandparents often ask what rights they have if the parents are denying access to their grandchildren. While a Texas court may grant visitation in certain circumstances, state law does not give grandparents an absolute right to visit their grandchildren.

Texas Law

Texas Family Code Section 153.432 gives a biological or adoptive grandparent the ability to request possession or access to a grandchild. Section 153.433 goes on to describe the requirements that must be met before a court can consider granting an order.

Understanding the Law

To request visitation and access to a child through the court, a person may file a Suit Affecting the Parent-Child Relationship, commonly referred to as a SAPCR (pronounced "sap sir"). If a court order already exists regarding the child, then a request to modify the SAPCR order may be filed. 

In order to file an initial SAPCR lawsuit or to request modifying an existing order, a nonparent must first have standing, which is a legal right to file a case. Texas Family Code Section 102.003 defines who has standing to file.

Forms

E-Books Available from the State Law Library

This e-book contains information on grandparents and their rights. E-books can be viewed by those who have signed up for a free library account with the State Law Library. Only Texas residents are eligible to sign up. Signing up is free.

Volume 1, Objective B, Task B2 discusses the rights of grandparents in child custody cases.

Chapter 44 covers grandparents and other nonparents while Chapter 46 covers authorization for care of a child.

Books at the State Law Library

These print books at the State Law Library contain information on grandparents' rights. If you are not able to visit the State Law Library in Austin, these books might be available at a law library near you or a public library near you.

See Chapter 4, Part J for discussion of lawsuits involving grandparent possession and access.