Some individuals can form close relationships with children, even if they are not parents. In case of a suit affecting the parent-child relationship, children may lose the chance to maintain a relationship with other family members, as well as those who have the best interest of the child at heart. Individuals wishing to have access to, and possession of a child are considered third parties. In order to obtain third-party visitation rights, you must petition the court to see if it would grant you visitation. It best to consult with a family law attorney who can explain what your rights to visitation and/or possession and access are.
Third-Party Visitation Attorney in Brownsville, Texas
Over the years you can build a close relationship with a child. The relationship may be impacted if a suit affecting the parent-child relationship is filed by either parent. A third-party does not have automatic visitation rights of the child. If you want to request visitation, you will need to file a lawsuit for third-party visitation in order to obtain a visitation order. The Gracia Law Firm, P.C. is a Brownsville-based family law firm with attorneys ready to take on your case.
Our attorneys at The Gracia Law Firm, P.C. are experienced in family law cases and can represent you in a cases involving third party visitation rights. The court is ultimately interested in providing for the best interest of the child, so if you have a close relationship with the child, you should have the right to have access to visit him or her. The Gracia Law Firm, P.C. will defend your rights to visitation until we have received an order in your favor.
Our family law attorneys work with clients in the counties of Cameron, Hidalgo and Willacy. Call 956-504-2211 to reach The Gracia Law Firm, P.C. and set up a consultation or fill out an initial contact form at the bottom of the page.
Overview of Third-party Visitation
- Siblings Visitation Rights
- Non-sibling visitation Rights
- What is Used to Determine Third-Party Visitation Rights?
- Additional Resources
Siblings Visitation Rights
Tex. Fam. Code §153.551 addresses the access to and possession of a child by a sibling by stating the following:
(a) The sibling of a child who is separated from the child because of an action taken by the Department of Family and Protective Services may request access to the child by filing:
(1) an original suit; or
(2) a suit for modification as provided by Chapter 156.
(b) A sibling described by Subsection (a) may request access to the child in a suit filed for the sole purpose of requesting the relief, without regard to whether the appointment of a managing conservator is an issue in the suit.
(c) The court shall order reasonable access to the child by the child’s sibling described by Subsection (a) if the court finds that access is in the best interest of the child.
Besides siblings, other individuals who may have a relationship with the child affected by the parent-child relationship suit and be interested in the welfare of the child and wish to obtain access to and possession of can include the following:
- Stepparents – in a dissolution of marriage suit between the stepparent and the biological parent of the child, a stepparent gets no automatic access to and possession of the child. If the stepparent wants to file for conservatorship or possession, the stepparent must file for third-party visitation.
- Aunts and Uncles – Although blood-related, aunts and uncles do not get automatic visitation rights to a child affected in a parent-child relationship suit, so they are referred to as third-party individuals.
- Previous Household Members – They must file under third-party visitation rights if they wish to have access to and possession of a child affected in the parent-child relationship suit.
What is Used to Determine Third-Party Visitation Rights?
Other than grandparents, whom the law explicitly states should maintain a relationship with the child in case of a suit affecting the parent-child relationship, other individuals seeking visitation have to prove how their presence in the child’s life is necessary. The court can also take into account the following:
- Whether the individual seeking visitation knew the child for a long time
- Whether the individual seeking visitation and the child had a close-knit relationship
- Whether the individual seeking visitation lived with the child for a long time
- Any history of protective orders against the individual seeking visitation
- History of Family Violence involving the individual seeking visitation
Access and Visitation | Attorney General of Texas – The Attorney General of Texas (OAG) provides helpful resources to aid parents with custody or visitation orders. The OAG reports they do not use child support funding to help with custody or visitation; however, through a local organization, the OAG can provide additional services.
American Academy of Pediatrics | healthychildren.org – The healthychildren.org page has helpful tips available for the custodians of children affected by a parent-child relationship suit. The advice provided is useful in terms of making sure children are getting the full benefit of fostering relationships with individuals like their siblings and others interested in their welfare.
Attorney for Third-Party Visitation in Cameron County, Texas
If you are a close family member of the child who was affected by the suit affecting the parent-child relationship, you may be interested in maintaining contact with the child. In order to be granted visitation rights, you need to prove your case for why your continued access to and possession of the child is in the best of the child.
The attorneys at The Gracia Law Firm, P.C. are experienced family law attorneys who will litigate your case so that you may achieve a favorable outcome. A suit for third-party visitation can be difficult, because you may have to prove the significance of your relationship with the child. Our attorneys can aid you in forming a strong defense in your favor during the hearing.
We work with clients in the counties Cameron, Hidalgo and Willacy. Contact The Gracia Law Firm, P.C. at 956-504-2211 to schedule a free, confidential consultation or fill out a free case review form at the bottom of the page.