Family Law Questions? Ask a Family Lawyer Online.
Hi - my name is XXXXX XXXXX I'm a Family Law litigation attorney here to assist you.
Yes, a father - married or not - has the same rights to the child as the mother does. However, if the parents are not married, the mother can allege that he's not the father and keep the child from him until the father files a petition to establish paternity and gets a DNA test through a court order to establish that he's the father.
Also, the court will establish custody, visitation and child support for the child. This is really no different than a divorce as it pertains to child custody and support. The same rules apply whether there's a divorce proceeding or not.
Grandparents' rights are not absolute. In fact, courts generally do not award any such rights as they allow the parents of the children to decide when they see grandparents, etc. Grandparents rights are usually only a consideration if a parent of the child dies or loses parental rights. At that point, the court will usually grant grandparents rights to make sure the grandchild maintains a relationship with the grandparents.
1) Yes. There's nothing illegal about that.
2) In 2005, the Texas state legislature changed its law on grandparents' rights to make it more difficult for grandparents to have access over a parent's objection. The law now says that a grandparent can get visitation only if denial of access would "significantly impair the child's physical health or emotional well-being." The word "significantly" sets an extremely high standard for grandparents to meet. It's not enough to claim that the child and grandparent would be sad if there was no contact; it must be show that a significant impact would occur.
In this case, the grandparent should have no problem seeing the child if the father's mother is close to the child's mother. She could see the child through the mother any time she wants.
DISCLAIMER: Answers from Experts on JustAnswer are not substitutes for the advice of an attorney. JustAnswer is a public forum and questions and responses are not private or confidential or protected by the attorney-client privilege. The Expert above is not your attorney, and the response above is not legal advice. You should not read this response to propose specific action or address specific circumstances, but only to give you a sense of general principles of law that might affect the situation you describe. Application of these general principles to particular circumstances must be done by a lawyer who has spoken with you in confidence, learned all relevant information, and explored various options. Before acting on these general principles, you should hire a lawyer licensed to practice law in the jurisdiction to which your question pertains.
The responses above are from individual Experts, not JustAnswer. The site and services are provided “as is”. To view the verified credential of an Expert, click on the “Verified” symbol in the Expert’s profile. This site is not for emergency questions which should be directed immediately by telephone or in-person to qualified professionals. Please carefully read the Terms of Service (last updated February 8, 2012).