We are open again for business at the beautiful brick and mortar location! Although we are very conscious of the COVID-19 risks, we understand that people especially need family lawyers at this time. After practicing in the area a family law for 33 years and being board-certified for 28 of those years, I have a keen awareness of how the current situation has deeply affected marriages and children in our community. We stand ready and able to service our ongoing clients in our newly disinfected office wherein we now require that all visitors submit their forehead for a contactless temperature reading to protect our work family and yours. We do require that you wear a mask as prescribed by federal, county and city regulations. When I built my office in 2013 I incurred  the additional monies to ensure that all visitors were safe from the spreading of germs and bacteria by installing high tech visitor restrooms with touchless water, soap and dryers, I had no idea that this would be such an added layer of safety for our clients and employees during this pandemic.  This foresight gives us the ability to provide you with the highest standard of cleanliness and low risk for infection when you visit our beautiful, SPACIOUS office, in person where we can comply with social distancing with no problem whatsoever. We are accepting new clients at this time and have instituted new policies for receiving payments online as well as having our intake forms as easy PDF fillable documents as well as giving you the opportunity to provide us with all of your evidence and other important documentation by sending same via electronic transmission. We have all of our clients’ private and confidential  information saved and protected, while being accessible to the staff through our extremely secure Cloud Client Platform and Portal hosted by legal industry giant, ThomsenReuters. For this reason, during the stay at home sheltering orders we were one of the few law firms in the county to already have transitioned to a virtual Law Firm. This permitted our brilliant and innovative family law attorneys to continue to seamlessly provide the very best legal representation to the DFW population which we serve. We are able to represent clients not only in Tarrant County, but all surrounding counties such as Johnson, Dallas, Collin, Kaufman and Parker. 

I have handpicked the most competent, experienced and hard working support staff to flawlessly meet the needs of our clients as a full-service family law firm. We have recently been named as one of the top 20 divorce law firms in Arlington! I have garnered many honors over my many years of practice, including being named as Top Attorney in Fort Worth for over a decade each year and I have twice been selected by my peers as a “Super Lawyer” of Texas, an honor reserved for an extremely small percentage of Texas lawyers. Although I am proud of all of these accolades, this would mean nothing to my clients if I had not concentrated on a mission of using my decades of experience to build my law form into a well organized business utilizing the most cutting edge technological tools to represent my clients in the most efficient and cost-effective manner. This goal has served me well during this ongoing epidemic. My goal is to provide the most excellent t legal services to all of the community at a cost that does not bankrupt a client. 

If you are at high risk to contract Coronavirus or prefer to have all of your contact with our office in virtual form, we are set up on Zoom for immediate consultations for new clients. My Mission Statement has always been: “When It comes to your family and your finances, experience matters!” These words are more true now than ever. During these uncertain times I wanted to reach out to our community and assure your that because of my many years of practice, I had already built in all of the safeguards to enable our brilliant lawyers and awesome paralegals to continue the essential work that they do from home during the height of the pandemic. I wanted to put the word out there that we stand ready and able to meet all of your family law needs, now more than ever. We are also still offering our simple Estate Planning Kit at a greatly reduced price to give back to the community that has been so wonderful and supportive over the last 33 years as I built one of the best family law firms in the State. Prayers to all of you during these frightening times, and please remember that we have the experience and technology to best serve you, our important clients who are the reason for our continued existence and survival.  At the end of the day, no business is more essential than a family law firm with a  dedicated team ready to shepherd you through any crisis that you and your family are experiencing. Please reach out to us if you need help now at ArlingtonDivorces.com or call (817) 572-9900 and Amanda can get you set up to meet with us to give you advice immediately,

Grandparent Rights Attorney
 

The bond between a grandparent and a grandchild can play an important role in their upbringing. Unfortunately, there are many ways in which this relationship can be jeopardized.

A grandparent rights attorney can advise you of your rights as a grandparent and help you establish visitation rights or custody rights.

Learn more about how the team at the Family Law Firm of Donna J. Smiedt in Arlington, TX, can help...

Why Should You Hire an Attorney?

Donna J. Smiedt is an experienced attorney. She began practicing law in 1986 and has been a Board Certified Family Law Attorney by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization since 1991.

While grandparents do not have the exact same rights as a parent, there are certain rights you are still entitled to in Texas. This includes exercising grandparent visitation and, in some cases, custody.

If you are seeking visitation or custody of a grandchild, you need strong evidence showing that it would be in their best interest. An attorney can submit compelling evidence to help you obtain visitation or custody rights.

By building a strong case backed by solid evidence, we can improve your negotiating ability, which can help you obtain a good outcome during mediation. If your case proceeds to court, our attorney will litigate your case.

Have an Attorney Review Your Case

Donna J. Smiedt is a family law specialist who focuses her practice on complex family law litigation. She earned her undergraduate degree from Southern Methodist University (SMU) at age 19 and went on to graduate from the SMU School of Law as one of the institution's youngest graduates at age 22. She now has more than 30 years of experience practicing law, and runs her private practice in Arlington, where she was named the Best Family Law Attorney by the readers of Arlington Today Magazine in 2018. She is also a member of several professional organizations, including:

  • Tarrant County Bar Association
  • Arlington Bar Association
  • Arlington Professional and Businesswomen’s Club
  • The Texas Academy of Family Law Specialists
  • The College of the State Bar of Texas

The Family Law Firm of Donna J Smiedt serves clients in Arlington, Fort Worth, and surrounding areas. If you have questions about your rights as a grandparent, schedule a consultation at our law firm today. You can contact us online or call us directly at:

817-539-6577
 

Our team

The team at the Family Law Firm of Donna J. Smiedt

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Jerry Johnston

Jerry Johnston

May, 2019

Donna has represented my son in a child custody case and my wife and I in a grandparents custody case and she has done a masterful job. I don't know where my grandchildren would be without Donna.  She has given them a chance to have a much better  life and a chance to be loved and grow into well rounded adults. Donna is a very caring person that really looks out for the benefit of children and her clients.
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Catherine Clifton

Catherine Clifton

April, 2019

Donna is an amazing, very talented family law attorney that I recommend highly. She helped me immensely during a very difficult time of my life during my divorce. She works tirelessly to ensure her clients are well represented, covers all contingencies, (even those you don’t think off), and the bottom line is she WINS the best outcome for your family. View On Google

Grandparent Rights in the State of Texas

State legislatures have recently started to recognize grandparent rights in family law disputes and Texas is one of several states that have established specific statutes regarding this matter. Still, the rights of grandparents are limited in Texas when compared to parental rights. Grandparents must meet very narrow requirements if a court is going to order visitation or custody rights.

Statue of blind justice with scales in front of Texas flag

When Are Grandparent Rights Awarded?

In order to qualify for visitation or child custody rights, grandparents must meet at least one of the following circumstances:

The parents are divorced

The child lived with the grandparent for at least six months

Parental rights have been terminated

One or both parents have died

There has been a finding of abuse or neglect by the parent

The parent is in jail

The parent has been found incompetent

What Type of Grandparent Visitation is Allowed?

When a grandparent seeks to enforce visitation rights with a grandchild, it is important to keep in mind the type of visitation the court will allow. The terms of the visitation might be limited in time and frequency.

In the case of a child that is adopted by someone other than a step-parent, the grandparent will no longer be allowed to exercise grandparental visitation rights.

Grandparent Rights

Child Custody

Older man hugging two children

Seeking custody of a grandchild is a much different legal undertaking than seeking visitation. Custody of a grandchild is the legal right to have that child live with the grandparent, with the grandparent assuming parental responsibilities. Texas courts consider granting child custody to a grandparent when:

  • The current home life of the grandchild presents serious physical or emotional risk.
  • The parents have agreed to allow the grandparent to take custody of the child.

Only one of these circumstances needs to exist in order for child custody to be granted to a grandparent.
 

Child Support

Child Support Hearing petition

If you are awarded custody of your grandchild, you may wish to seek child support, as well. Legally, both parents have an obligation to provide medical and financial support for their child. At our law office in Arlington and serving Fort Worth, our attorney can assist grandparents in seeking child support from one or both parents. Child support in Texas may cover basic expenses such as:

  • Shelter
  • Food
  • Clothing
  • Medical care
  • Dental care
Valerie Moore

Valerie Moore

April, 2019

Donna was my attorney during a very difficult divorce. She is very supportive, professional, ethical and well-respected by her clients, the judges and DFW legal community. Her staff is fantastic. In addition to divorces, Donna has provided professional services in other family law issues I have faced as well will preparation. The services she and her staff have provided to me, my husband and children span a time frame of almost 20 years. I would never consider going to any other attorney for any type of family law issues. Her knowledge in family law cannot be found anywhere else and I highly recommend her. View On Google

Heidi Krahn

Heidi Krahn

April, 2019

Donna Smiedt is a phenomenal attorney. I was very lucky to have had her work on a touchy adoption case. I would recommend her to anyone.  Her compassion and empathy is unique in the world of law yet feriously tough when  she needs to be.
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Get Help With Your Grandparent Rights Case

The Family Law Firm of Donna J. Smiedt can help grandparents exercise their rights. Let us help with your case today. For more information, call our law office at 817-539-6577 or contact us online. Our law office has represented clients from Arlington, Fort Worth, and surrounding areas.

How Your Case Will Proceed

The first step in filing for grandparent visitation or custody is to collect relevant information and establish a timeline of events. We want to show the court how much time you have spent and currently spend with your grandchild. We recommend starting a calendar that is dedicated to recording all of your time spent caring for them.

The first step in the legal process is to establish that you have standing to file for visitation or custody. Our attorney will file an affidavit and petition with the court. These documents will include basic information about yourself, spouse, and grandchildren, along with how your denied visitation is harming the child physically or emotionally.

If the judge reviews and approves your case, you will get a date for your hearing. At this time, we will show that denying visitation or custody to the grandparent is not in the best interests of the child and submit evidence showing why the court should go against the wishes of the parent or parents. We may be able to resolve your case during mediation or we may go to court.

How We Build a Strong Case

The Best Interests of the Child

The key is always that visitation or child custody must be in the best interests of the child. To determine what constitutes the best interests of the child, the court will examine several factors, including the wishes of the child, if he or she is old enough to express their desires.

Our focus is the child's best interests and our family law attorneys are prepared to do everything in our power to protect those interests. Donna reviews each case on an individualized basis to determine the best approach to your defense.

Evidence Establishing a Risk to the Child

When a parent engages in activity that jeopardizes the safety of the child, the events leading up to the danger typically serve as the proof needed to request grandparent custody. There are several types of evidence that may be submitted to the court to establish a substantial risk to the child and obtain visitation rights or child custody rights. At our law office serving Arlington, Fort Worth, and surrounding areas, Donna reviews each case on an individualized basis, and submits the strongest evidence for consideration by the court.

Our law office will obtain any police reports detailing incidents of domestic abuse, child abuse, drug or alcohol problems, DUI, or mental health problems, all of which may be used as evidence against one or both parents.

Court records from criminal case proceedings may be used to show that one or both parents are incarcerated, or that the history of criminal behavior creates an unstable and dangerous home environment for the child.

Medical records may indicate a history of drug abuse, alcohol abuse, or mental issues. We may obtain medical records from primary care physicians or specialists, such as mental health care providers.

Our law firm has a team of experts that can evaluate one or both parents to determine if they are in sound mental health, or how a history of domestic or drug abuse can negatively impact a child's life.

It can be helpful for grandparents to have a calendar or diary that records the time spent with grandchildren. Include specific information about responsibilities such as dropping the child off at school and taking the child to doctor appointments.

Our law firm can submit photos of you spending time with your grandchild, including important life moments such as birthdays, holidays, sporting events, and school events. Photographs can illustrate your commitment to your ongoing relationship with your grandchild.

Josh R.

Josh R.

June 30, 2016

The Law Office of Donna Smiedt is absolutely wonderful. I have dealt with other attorneys regarding my divorce case and I can truly say that there is an obvious difference at Donna's office.  Whether it be professionalism, sound advice, expediency, organization and more, their office is like none other with a constant winning attitude.  As with anyone experiencing the challenges of divorce, it's comforting to trust someone who cares and understands what your going through. When I hired Donna, all my worries were alleviated since I knew they had myself and my kids best interest in mind. View On Yelp

Keri Jarboe Smith

Keri Jarboe Smith

Donna represented our family for a parental termination and step parent adoption. Her entire team did a great job over the 2 year process. I thought Donna's strategy and no nonsense approach to be exactly what we needed. Finding a parent who hides can typically be tough but she knew the legal way to navigate around it. At the end, my daughter was adopted by the man who is truly her dad. Seriously, an excellent legal team!
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The Family Law Firm of Donna J Smiedt

Office exterior

The Family Law Firm of Donna J Smiedt is the premier destination for clients who need representation during a divorce, adoption, or other family law matter. Donna J. Smiedt has been in practice since 1986 and is a Board Certified Family Law Attorney – Texas Board of Legal Specialization.

To speak to an attorney at our award-winning law firm, request a consultation online or call us at (817) 572-9900.

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Arlington Office

3216 W Arkansas Ln
Arlington, TX 76016

Open Today 9:00am - 5:00pm

Hours & Info

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(817) 572-9900