Grandparents Raising Grandchildren: Obtaining Custody (i.e. Managing Conservatorship)

I’ve recently helped several grandparents who were raising their grandchild get legal custody (formally known as “managing conservatorship”).   The most common basis for bringing a suit for managing conservatorship is when the parents have voluntarily relinquished actual care, custody and control of the child to the grandparents for at least six months’ time.  It doesn’t matter whether no court order exists or an existing court order granting one of the parents “primary managing conservatorship” must be modified.  The key criterion remains the same — the grandparents have had actual care, custody and control for at least six months based on the parents’ voluntary relinquishment. 

Know that if the grandparents obtain managing conservatorship, the court may still order one or both parents to pay child support.  In general, the court still will provide the parents with some visitation rights unless serious issues such as documented child abuse are present.

In some cases, time lines apply for bringing the lawsuit.  Speak with a qualified family law attorney for more information about grandparents obtaining managing conservatorship when a grandchild has been relinquished to their care for at least six months.

Author Jim Cramp is a retired active duty colonel and principal attorney at the Cramp Law Firm.  The Cramp Law Firm provides a spectrum of family-related legal services in the greater San Antonio Region.