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Resources for grandparents seeking custody of their grandchildren

Grandparents in Texas who seek to gain custody of their grandchildren face some challenges unique to the state. They also usually deal with general issues associated with the process. For example, many custodial grandparents who are not currently caretakers experience stress regarding discipline and communication. Grandparents can often benefit from learning about these problems during the legal custodianship process, even if they have raised a child in the past.

Grandfamilies, a non-profit partnership made up in part by the American Bar Association's children's center, is one of the most robust resources in the country. The Grandfamilies.org website describes the association's purpose as advocating, assisting and training policymakers, grandparents and attorneys in the issues facing grandparent custody or adoption of children. Some of the resources available on the site include:

  • A list of helpful national organizations
  • State and federal law databases
  • Several independent and government publications
  • Archives of web seminars on adoption and kinship custody

The office of the attorney general of Texas lists some more specific information online, such as the conditions under which grandparents might file for custody. This page also contains some other resources prospective custodians may find useful, including a legal web portal for seniors and the hotline information for the Area Agencies on Aging. As mentioned on the attorney general's website, any issues concerning minors will be considered with the best interest of the child in mind. This includes visitation rights as well as custody. Furthermore, custodial rights may also entitle grandparents to child support assistance, as parents often have a legal obligation to support their children regardless of custody or visitation status.

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