Grandparent Custody Rights, Grandparent Visitation Rights, and Figuring Child Support

Live at Five’s family law attorney Sonya Coffman answers questions submitted by the KFDM news viewers of Southeast Texas. These questions include:

  • What are the child custody rights of grandparents?
  • What are the visitation rights of grandparents?
  • How is the amount of child support to be paid figured?
  • How can you get custody of only one child instead of both?
  • Why are child custody laws geared towards the mother?


The legal rights of grandparents may be one of the most complex and hard to understand in areas of the family law in Texas today here with more is Live at Five’s family attorney Sonya Coffman and this question seems to come up all the time what are my rights as far as being a grandparent and custody it does come up a lot often in the context of visitation grandparents often think that they don't get to see their grandchildren enough and want to know what they can do for visitation and it is complex but the short answer is there's not much a grandparent can do just to get visitation only in very limited circumstances set out in the family code and those are very hard to meet very seldom does that happen however that question is different from custody a grandparent can file for custody if they can show that the child's present circumstances with substantially impair their physical health their emotional development so in some ways it's easier to file for custody than it is to get visitation ok so for all those grandparents out there you may look at the custody option right now another question that was posted on our KFDM Facebook page is the fact how is child support figured as this one person was saying she's got two kids and she's only being paid a thousand dollars for the two kids and she doesn't think that is fair she should probably contact the attorney general's office and ask that they do a child support review which they will do for her free of charge but the short answer is that the family code says for two children the obligor should be paying twenty-five percent at his or her net resources and that resource is defined very specifically in the family code how that's calculated okay and just want to apologize that was Chris Busell he was handing us our questions we are having a few technical difficulties there what can you do to get custody of one child if you have two but only one wants to move in I think the question here is how willing are courts may be to do split custody of children and generally I think the court's prefer that siblings stay together but split custody does happen all the time depending on the circumstances so you would take each child to look at their preferences in their circumstances and feature that out why are child custody laws geared so much towards the mother that's a good question I think it's traditionally that mothers that have had custody although that that is certainly changing and in every courtroom everyday fathers get custody these days so it's based on the fact is there something that fathers should do if they are really wanting custody is is it better to employ a female attorney to represent them are there are there any catches to the law I guess I think that the best advice your father wanting custody is to be very involved and very hands-on because in the typical case in the past fathers works mothers took care of children fathers didn't do the extra-curricular activities in the parent-teacher conferences and that is all changed and so a dad needs to be very involved with these children and I think that's the best thing he can do for custody alright unfortunately we are out of time but appreciate you stopping by