If you have an adult child who is going through a divorce, you may wonder if this will affect your ability to see your grandchildren and what rights you have as a grandparent in Tennessee. You may also wonder what your role should be during and after the divorce.
The rights of grandparents
While grandparents’ rights vary from state to state, the good news for grandparents in Tennessee is that they can go to court and request visitation rights. As long as there are not allegations of abuse or some other danger to the child, the court will base its decision on the strength of the relationship between the grandparents and grandchild.
How grandparents can help
However, a divorce does not necessarily mean that grandparents will be cut off from their grandchildren, and whatever the situation, there are also things grandparents can do to offer support to everyone involved. With the grandchildren, they should avoid badmouthing either parent, and they should stay on civil terms, at minimum, with the other parent since they will probably continue to see them at events throughout the years. Grandparents might need to adapt to birthdays, holidays and other special occasions being different, but they should try to maintain consistency in their relationship with their grandchildren as much as possible. This might mean having to replace some in-person visits with phone or video calls. Above all, grandparents can serve as a source of relief for their grandchildren, who can turn to them for a sense of stability, fun and healthy distraction.
Ideally, despite a divorce, grandparents will be able to maintain their relationship with their grandchildren and it will not be necessary to seek a legal solution. However, it can be helpful for grandparents to understand their rights as well as how best to proceed when divorce occurs.