The heart of a grandparent is to ensure that your grandchild is protected at all times. Your relationship with your grandchild is foundational for healthy development and familial structure. In the event of the child’s parent or parents being incarcerated, this natural instinct to look out for your grandchild’s well-being is magnified.
You may be wondering, what are a grandparent’s rights when a parent is in jail? How can you stand up for your grandchild during this period of upheaval and uncertainty in their precious life? Prepare to take action by learning about your legal rights as a grandparent in Texas during this crucial time.
How Grandparents Rights Work When a Parent is In Jail
When your grandchild’s safety and well-being are at stake, you must act quickly and decisively to maintain your vital role. While Texas state laws recognize grandparents’ rights, they are highly regulated. That’s why time is of the essence during this situation.
The Texas Family Code lays out specific mandates for how grandparents may be awarded custody of their grandchildren. Your rights as a grandparent do not automatically kick in, but Texas state law does allow for a short window of time to establish kinship care in the event of parental incarceration. However, this kinship care may also fall to other, more distant relatives if the process is not handled with due care.
The court will first consider placement with the remaining parent if only one parent is incarcerated. If both parents are incarcerated – or if the other parent is unavailable or unfit – the courts will customarily seek a temporary placement with a designated relative. The parent or parents are asked to provide a list of suitable relatives that they believe will provide ongoing support and care for the child. The Department of Child Protective Services (CPS) usually considers the parents’ desires whenever this input is feasible.
When evaluating a proper placement for your grandchild, the court deems the child’s needs as the primary deciding factor. However, the interpretation of these needs is often left in the hands of individuals who do not know the personal preferences or background of the child.
The placement of your grandchild may be court-ordered after the Department of Family Protective Services (DFPS) completes a home assessment. You want your voice to be heard clearly and convincingly during this brief window of opportunity. I can help to provide you with legal representation.
Complications To Your Rights as a Grandparent in Texas
Your position as a grandparent gives you legal rights under Texas law. However, the sheer number of child placement cases often causes the courts to find quick and less-than-ideal solutions. For the placement to go in your favor and the child’s best interest, make sure that you have considered every aspect of the placement process.
- Learn what is involved in a home study evaluation, including criminal background checks, work history, and family history.
- Familiarize yourself with the procedures and do as much preparation as possible to increase your chances of a favorable outcome.
- Gather proper documentation, including birth certificates, Social Security records, and proofs of residence.
- Evaluate your home for safety features and create a suitable living space for your grandchild.
- Accentuate all of the positives within your home that provide a nurturing environment for the child.
- Do your own detective work to uncover other potential individuals who have an interest in the custody of your grandchild.
- Prepare to assert your rightful position as a grandparent.
Work With an Expert in Texas Family Law
Your grandchild’s future could be greatly affected by the incarceration of their parent or parents. Don’t miss this opportunity to provide stability and reassurance. I can help you face this legal challenge by providing you with expert counsel every step of the way toward gaining custody of your grandchild.
I have helped grandparents throughout Fort Bend County, Brazoria County, and Harris County with these types of very challenging family law matters. Let me help you form a strong, productive legal defense to give you every advantage as you seek the custody and protection of your grandchild.
Contact my offices at 281-944-5485 or 979-267-7660 to discuss your situation. I’m ready to help you assert your grandparent’s rights when the parent or parents are in jail. Let’s work together to look out for the security of your grandchild!