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How a grandparent can influence a child

The notion of a child being raised by a grandparent is nothing new. In fact, the old adage "it takes a village to raise a child" implicitly means that grandparents can take an active role in molding a child. More than seven million children across the United States are raised by at least one grandparent, and a number of prominent Americans, including Jack Nicholson, Oprah Winfrey and Barack Obama were raised by grandparents.

Indeed, Grandparents Day is not celebrated until September, but we want to take time to recognize the contributions that grandparents across Houston make to their grandchildren, and provide a basic understanding of how their legal right to parenting time can be established.

First, grandparents must realize that their right to parenting time does not come about automatically. Absent a court order, the child's biological parents have the right to dictate who can spend time with the child or make decisions on his or her behalf. As such, grandparents must petition the court for parenting time.

Texas family courts will consider a grandparent's request for parenting time if certain legal standards are met. Essentially, a grandparent must establish that they have standing (i.e. the legal right to sue for parenting time). Also, if a parent objects to a grandparent having access to the child, the grandparent has a high burden to overcome. He or she must show that the denial of access "would significantly impair the child's physical health and emotional well-being."

Nevertheless, each request for parenting time or custody is different and is judged on its own merits. If you have questions about grandparents' rights, an experienced family law attorney can assist you.

Source: Grandparents.com, 8 famous people raised by grandparents

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