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Understanding grandparents’ rights after a divorce

On Behalf of | May 13, 2024 | Child Custody And Visitation |

Divorce affects more than just a couple and their children. It impacts other family relationships, including those between grandparents and grandchildren. Grandparents are often important in their grandchildren’s lives, but a divorce can disrupt this relationship. Understanding grandparents’ rights can help maintain these important family bonds.

Legal standing of grandparents

Grandparents usually don’t have automatic rights to visitation or custody of their grandchildren. But Tennessee recognizes the importance of these relationships. The state has provisions allowing grandparents to petition for visitation rights. The court’s primary consideration is always the child’s best interest, and that can include continued relationships with a loving grandparent.

Petitioning for visitation

To get visitation rights after a divorce, grandparents need to show three things:

  • They have an existing relationship with their grandchild.
  • Continuing this relationship is in the child’s best interest.
  • The relationship will not have a negative impact on the parent-child relationship.

Using these points, grandparents then file a petition with the court. Outcomes can vary greatly depending on the specific family circumstances.

Factors courts consider

When deciding the case, the judge will always consider the child’s needs first. They will also consider the mental and physical health of the grandparents and their history with the child. If the child has a strong preference, this may come into consideration, too.

Maintaining relationships

You don’t always have to go to family court to see your grandchildren after a divorce. Maintaining a positive relationship with the child’s parents is vital. Open communication and cooperation can often lead to visitation arrangements that keep everyone happy.

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