Visitation Rights of Grandparents in the State
Many grandparents can’t get enough of their grandchildren. They love spending time with them and count the days before their next visit. Unfortunately, their relationship can be deeply affected by things outside of their control, such as a divorce. The State of Tennessee, however, provides a legal path to ensure that a grandparent can still have certain rights when it comes to their grandchildren.
At Durak Law, we provide experienced representation for individuals involved in family law matters, such as grandparents who are fighting for their visitation rights. Our firm will help you navigate the legal process. We work diligently to protect your interests and the interests of your loved ones. Contact our office today to request a free consultation.
Do Grandparents Have the Right to See Their Grandchildren After a Divorce in Tennessee?
While a divorce may terminate the marriage between your child and their spouse, it should not end your relationship with your grandchildren. Recognizing the importance that grandparents have in a child’s life, Tennessee provides for grandparent visitation rights. The court will take a number of things into consideration when determining a grandparent’s visitation rights. It is imperative to work with an experienced attorney to determine how to establish visitation rights within the state.
When Can a Grandparent Petition the Court for Visitation Rights?
Under state law (Tennessee Code 36-6-302), a grandparent may petition the court for visitation rights under several different circumstances. Most cases require a hearing on the matter and should be handled with the help of a legal advocate.
A grandparent may petition the court for visitation rights if:
- A parent of an unmarried minor child has died;
- The child’s parents are separated, divorced, or were never married;
- The mother or father of the child has been missing for at least six months;
- Visitation for the grandparent has been ordered by another state;
- The child has resided with the grandparent for 12 months or more but was removed by the parents; or
- The child and grandparent have a significant existing relationship for at least 12 months and that relationship was severed by the parents.
When determining visitation rights, the court will look at the kind of emotional harm that a child would suffer by not being able to maintain a relationship with their grandparents. They will also work to ensure that the decision is in the best interest of the child.
What Strengthens a Grandparent's Right to Visitation?
A grandparent’s right to visitation may be strengthened by things like an existing relationship, whether they resided with you, or whether you were a full-time caregiver on their behalf. A court will always look into whether or not granting visitation rights will substantially harm the child emotionally.
Contact Our Office to Schedule a Consultation
If you are being stopped from seeing your grandchildren, you may be able to file a petition for visitation rights. It is important to work with an attorney to determine your rights and the best course of action moving forward. Contact our office today to schedule a free consultation.