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Grandparent Rights

Question: My husband and I have raised our grandchild, Megan, since she was born. Her mother came to our house about a month ago and took Megan. Megan and her mother now live in Houston. We believe Megan is not in a good environment. Our son, Megan's father died several years ago. What can we do?

Answer: Your first question is do you have standing to file an original suit. You might have standing in the following situations: (1) you have been responsible for the actual care, control and possession of the child for at least six months ending not more than 90 days preceding the filing of the original suit; or (2) you have proof that the child's present environment presents a serious question concerning the child's physical health or welfare; or (3) both parents either join the suit or consent to the suit. There are some instances in which you may file a writ of attachment to gain possession of your grandchild. If you believe and have evidence that the child's present living environment is injurious to his/her physical and/or emotion well-being, then you may have grounds to file a writ of attachment. Depending upon the circumstances you may file for custody, however, non-parents vs. a parent in custody litigation is not easy. There is a presumption that it is in the child's best interest that the child's parent is the primary conservator. I would suggest you contact a family lawyer immediately, time is of the essence. If you believe, Megan is in danger, call Child Protective Services to make a report.

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