Do stepparents have visitation rights?

On Behalf of | Jan 10, 2024 | Child Custody

When it comes to stepparent visitation rights in Texas, they are not clearly guaranteed. However, the law acknowledges that maintaining a relationship between a stepparent and a stepchild is valuable if it serves the best interests of the child.

If your blended family is breaking up, be aware of the specific considerations that impact visitation rights.

Interested third parties

In Texas, the concept of “interested third parties” plays a role in visitation rights cases involving stepparents. An interested third party is someone, other than the biological parents, who seeks visitation or access to a child. This could include grandparents, close relatives or individuals who have a substantial and ongoing relationship with the child.

Relationship and parental consent

Visitation rights for stepparents often hinge on the nature of the relationship between the stepparent and the child. It is key for you to demonstrate a positive and significant role in the child’s life. Additionally, obtaining parental consent is an important step in establishing and enforcing visitation rights.

Best interests of the child

The overarching principle in determining visitation rights is the best interests of the child. Courts evaluate various factors, including the child’s emotional and physical well-being and educational needs, along with your ability to provide a supportive environment. Aligning visitation requests with the child’s best interests strengthens the case for seeking visitation rights.

Parental cooperation

You may find success in securing visitation rights when there is cooperation with the biological parent. Courts value parental cooperation and communication, and a unified front can significantly impact the court’s decision. Maintaining open lines of communication with the biological parent fosters a supportive environment for the child.


Texas courts prioritize stability and consistency in a child’s life when considering visitation arrangements. When seeking visitation rights, you should demonstrate your commitment to maintaining a stable and consistent environment for the child. This includes respecting existing routines and support systems.

Legal process

To pursue visitation rights in Texas as a stepparent, it may be necessary to file legal documents with the court. Familiarizing yourself with the process is essential for proper preparation and a successful outcome.

With a recent Forbes report noting that as many as 67 percent of second marriages end in divorce, stepchildren are all too often negatively impacted by such breakups. It is important to know that you can still maintain a connection with your stepchildren by pursuing visitation rights.

FindLaw Network