The relationship between Tennessee grandparents and their grandchildren is often a close and supportive one. However, when conflicts arise with the children’s parents, grandparents might face losing access to their grandchildren. While it is always best to attempt to resolve issues amicably, grandparents also have legal rights they can pursue.
Conflicts can be complicated
Some conflicts between grandparents and their grandchildren’s parents are created when the grandparents’ behavior break the rules set by the parents. For example, when parents have certain rules about screen time, grandparents cannot simply break them and expect the parents to be okay. Other situations that can cause conflicts between grandparents and parents include:
- Disagreements over the parents’ parental style, with grandparents encouraging their grandchildren to ignore their parents’ rules and expectations
- Finances used for control, whether the grandparents provide financial support with strings attached or the parents manipulate access to the children in relation to the financial support
- Threats to the children’s safety, such as when there is a history of sexual abuse, substance abuse or other criminal behavior by the grandparents
- Familial relationship issues, such as when the grandparents have personal conflicts with their adult child’s spouse
Preventing and resolving these issues
It is in the best interests of the grandchildren for grandparents and parents to resolve these issues amicably or to prevent them from happening. Communication between grandparents should be open and honest and grandparents should be respectful of the choices made by their grandchildren’s parents and the boundaries set by them. When grandparents’ access to their grandchildren is limited or even eliminated, grandparents might pursue their grandparents’ rights for visitation. However, there are limitations and strict conditions for when these rights might be pursued.
The bond formed by grandparents and their grandchildren can be quite beautiful. Conflicts with the parents can threaten this bond, but you can try to resolve these issues amicably or rely on the court for visitation rights.