Although it can be difficult, in certain circumstances, Texas family law may permit a grandparent to obtain custody even when a parent wants custody. In a recent case, a mother appealed an order giving the grandparents the exclusive right to determine a child’s primary residence.
In 2014, the trial court named the mother managing conservator of her 18-month-old son with the exclusive right to determine his primary residence. The mother and child lived in Lubbock for about a year, and then moved to live with the mother’s brother for about a year. After that, however, the mother and child moved multiple times. The mother dated men who had violent criminal histories. Child Protective Services opened an investigation and developed a safety plan. The child’s paternal grandparents petitioned for the exclusive right to determine the child’s primary residence, and the court granted the petition. The mother appealed.
The mother argued the trial court erred because the grandparents did not have standing to move for modification. She also argued the trial court abused its discretion when it found there was a material and substantial change in circumstances justifying a modification.