Sometimes, Tennessee families may have a dynamic that results in estrangement. Often, grandparents are unable to see their grandchildren for a variety of reason, but they should know their rights regarding visitation.
Grandparent visitation laws in Tennessee
Parents have the right to make decisions on behalf of their children. Unfortunately, this sometimes means that grandparents may be cut off from their grandchild. In that situation, grandparents would have to appeal to the court to prove that having a relationship would be in the child’s best interests. They could also show the court how denial of visitation would be harmful to the grandchild.
When do grandparents get visitation rights?
If the child’s parents don’t object, grandparents can automatically have visitation rights. However, when there’s an issue, the grandparents must formally request it by filing a petition with the court. Certain factors might convince the judge that it would be in the child’s best interests to have their grandparents in their life. If the parent is deceased, the grandparents could step in and maintain a relationship with the child.
Grandparents can get visitation if the child’s parents are divorced, separated or unmarried. Visitation can also be ordered if the parents have been missing for at least six months.
If the child has been living in a grandparent’s home for at least 12 months but subsequently removed by a parent, the grandparent has the legal right to petition the court for visitation rights. Grandparents can also gain visitation if they live in another state and the court has granted them that right.
Grandparents who have served as the child’s primary caretaker for at least 12 months have visitation rights because separation could result in emotional harm to the child.
Children deserve to maintain a close relationship with their grandparents. If problems exist in the family, grandparents can seek options from the court.