Grandparents and their grandchildren in Tennessee normally enjoy close and loving relationships. If this has not happened for you due to estrangement from their parents or for other reasons, you have some options to try and gain visitation.
Private negotiation and family counseling
Conflicts between grandparents and their children typically motivate parents to withhold access to grandchildren. Unresolved family disputes, disagreement about lifestyles or pressure from in-laws to deny access present some examples of why parents shut out grandparents.
You might resolve this by reaching out to your child and trying to heal what went wrong. This process can take time but yield positive results in the end. Convincing the parents to attend family counseling with you could repair the relationship.
Court-ordered visitation or custody
Should you choose to go to court, a judge will consider the best interests of the child when evaluating your request for contact. Grandparents preparing for court often seek out advice about family law prior to petitioning a court. A judge will consider the impact that your contact with the grandchildren will have on their well-being. In general, the rights of parents will supersede the rights of grandparents.
A judge might approve visitation or custody if:
- Contact with grandparents is important for the safety of the children
- Parents have abandoned the children
- Parents are unfit
- Children would benefit from seeing their grandparents
- Maintain positive contact
You should avoid turning negative when you are being denied access to your grandchildren. You may send presents, make phone calls or write letters in an attempt to win over the family. However, you should never speak badly about the parents to the grandchildren because this could undermine your goal.