Question: My daughter and her two children had been living with me in Texas for the last 3 years but recently she stormed out in anger and I have not seen her or my grandchildren since.

She's in a bad emotional state and I'm worried for the children. What steps can I take to get visitation rights for my grandchildren?
Answer 1/2 1 kudos     @
First off, the best approach possible is to reconcile with your daughter and keep the courts out of the situation. Try to convince your daughter that it is in the interests of the grandchildren to have at least some contact with their grandparents.

Now here are your legal options:

The Office of the Attorney General of Texas has a web page with information about grandparent's rights at https://www.oag.state.tx. us/elder/grandparents.sht ml . The web page says that grandparents in Texas can possibly get court-ordered grandchildren visitation rights if:

1. such visitations are in the best interests of the grandchild, and

2. the grandchild has lived with the grandparent for at least six months.

(There are also some alternatives for qualification #2, such as "the parent has become incarcerated" or "the parent is abusive.") Since your grandchildren lived with you for 3 years, you should meet qualification #2. Qualification #1 is harder to meet: there has to be a strong reason for the grandchild to need to see its grandparents. Simply missing them is not enough.

The other legal route you might be able to pursue is getting custody of the grandchildren. This route is open to you because the grandchildren lived with you for several years. It will be much, much harder to get the courts to assign custody to the grandparents rather than just visitation rights, however. The courts will only do this if the grandchildren are in imminent danger from their mother (for example, she's mentally unstable with a history of violence or she's a serious drug addict or she's involved in criminal activities) and living with the grandparents is better for the grandchildren. In general, courts always try to act "in the best interests of the child."

The web page given above also lists some groups and services that might be able to help you, such as "The Legal Hotline for Texans" (a service for Texans over age 60).
by Southern Gent
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