What are grandparents’ visitation rights in Tennessee?

When a marriage ends in divorce, it affects more than just two people. Many family members became invested in your relationship, especially if you have children. A divorce can drastically change your family’s dynamic. During the custody process, you should consider how you will include grandparents in your new routine. Learn how grandparents in Tennessee can sue for visitation rights if they feel they have been denied them.

What does it mean to have grandparent standing?

To receive a hearing for visitation rights for your grandchild, you must meet one of the following criteria:

  • A child’s mother or father is deceased
  • The parents are divorced, legally separated or were never married
  • One parent has been missing for at least six months
  • A child lived with a grandparent for at least one year, and was removed by the parent
  • A child and grandparents had a significant relationship for over a year that was immediately reduced by the parent

Those last two conditions demonstrate that the grandparent had a substantial bond with the child that was abruptly cut short by the parent. This assumes that the denial of visitation time could negatively impact the child’s well-being.

The best-case scenario? Be reasonable

If a grandparent believes that they have the grounds for visitation and are being denied it, they can petition the court. Child custody lawsuits can be emotionally difficult for everyone involved. The best way to avoid complications in this process is to find a solution that allows for the grandparent to visit their grandchild. If they have formed a special bond, there is no reason to sever it with painful litigation.

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