In many families in Texas and around the country, grandparents are the unsung heroes of families. Many grandparents never plan on becoming de facto parents again; however, unforeseen circumstances often thrust them into that role. When push comes to shove, grandparents who are fighting for the welfare of their grandchildren might have to ask a judge to assert their grandparents' rights in a custody or visitation case.
For one elderly couple, the inability to convince a judge that their great-grandson should live with them rather than the boy's father led to tragic circumstances. The couple's granddaughter, the mother of their great-grandson, was going through difficulties with substance abuse. However, her grandparents thought she was making progress and wanted her to ultimately be a part of her son's life.
However, an apparent drug overdose took the young woman's life, leaving the great-grandparents to seek custody on their own over the boy's father, who the great-grandparents did not trust. For most of his life, the boy had lived with his great-grandparents and sometimes with his mother at the elderly couple's house.
Unfortunately, they were unable to get full custody of the boy, and he was killed -- along with his father -- in a car accident. Toxicology reports are pending but the family thinks the man might have been under the influence of intoxicants. Now that both their granddaughter and great-granddaughter are gone, the couple want to honor them by pushing for more rights for grandparents in custody cases via new state laws.
Source: The Daily News, "Great-grandparents: Changes to custody laws may have saved young crash victim," Barbara LaBoe, April 24, 2013