Custody battles that ensue following the breakdown of a family are capable of causing damage beyond the two parents who are vying for custody of the children. If the parents are struggling, then it is likely that the children are suffering as well. Some child custody considerations also extend past the parents, concerning grandparents as well, and how their relationship with the children may be threatened as the marriage is dissolved and custody considerations are made.
When two parents end their relationship, this does not have to mean that the relationship between the children and their grandparents should also be ended. Unless a parent is exploiting a child and grandparent relationship, it is always considered to be in the best interest of the children for other significant relationships in their lives to be continued, including those relationships with the grandparents on both sides of the family.
In Texas custody law, as with law elsewhere in the United States as well, biological and adoptive grandparents do not typically possess the right to file for sole custody of their grandchildren. This is because the best interest of the children is typically served by maximizing parental contact, as long as one or both parents are capable of serving the best interests and the needs of the children. All custody court cases put a primary focus on what the best interest is of the child or children. The ability to serve the best interest of each child is addressed in the Texas Family Code in section 153.001.
There are exceptions to this particular rule, however, especially in situations where evidence is present that suggests that in the care of one or both parents, the child or children may be at risk. Both emotional and physical harm must be considered to this end. If this is the case, grandparents do possess the right to take initiative by filing a suit in an attempt to gain sole custody. The court itself may also decide to bring in the grandparents if the situation warrants it, and if the judge feels that the best interest of the children would be served with custody going toward the grandparents rather than the parents.
Ultimately, most custody court cases do not have to involve the grandparents, as the birth parents or adoptive parents of the child are capable of meeting his or her needs and providing for the best interest of the child. When grandparents are involved in court cases regarding custody to this end, it is typically to provide support. If the conditions of the custody battle do not necessitate that the grandparents become involved, then they can put themselves in a unique position to provide assistance to their grandchildren. Grandparents can make themselves available to both their children and their grandchildren through what can potentially become a rough battle. No custody battle is ever easy, and providing this support to both sides of the family can be beneficial for a smooth case and an attempt toward amicable results.