Grandparents enjoy a very special, loving relationship with their grandchildren; the time they spend together is often extremely valuable and meaningful to both. When changes in the marital relationship of a child’s or children’s birth or custodial parents occur, however, it can complicate the grandparents’ access to their grandkids.
Grandparents in Tennessee do enjoy certain limited visitation rights, but they are usually under certain circumstances. In Troxel v. Granville, 530 U.S. 57 (2000), the U.S. Supreme explained that the “liberty interest at issue in this case—the interest of parents in the care, custody, and control of their children— is perhaps the oldest of the fundamental liberty interests recognized by this Court.” The Court ruled that a Washington state non-parental visitation statute it referred to as “breathtakingly broad” violated the mother’s due process right to make decisions concerning the care, custody, and control of her children.
If the parents object to visitation, grandparents nonetheless can take legal action to continue to see their grandkids on a regular basis. This highly technical process usually requires legal advice, however, to remove any roadblocks that may present themselves.
Beyond the normal grandparent-grandchildren interaction, in some circumstances in our often-volatile society the grandparents may become their grandkids primary caretakers for some period of time. This underscores the importance of grandparents’ visitation.
Either way, a deep bond develops between the generations, making the continuation of that relationship even more crucial. If you need help exercising your rights as a grandparent in the greater Memphis area, contact Shannon A. Jones, Attorney at Law.
In Tennessee, visitation laws can be complicated with a lot of legal red tape. With his wide-ranging family law experience, Attorney Shannon A. Jones will do his utmost to make sure that no obstacle stands in your way when you want to spend quality time with your grandchildren.
Our firm has more than two decades of legal experience in a wide variety of family law cases. Call (901) 562-3605 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation.
In Tennessee, courts prioritize the best interests of the child or children in addressing family law matters. Tennessee Code § 36-6-306(e) establishes that the term grandparent includes, but is not limited to:
Under Tennessee Code § 36-6-306(a), a parent can go to court to try to stop grandparents’ visitation under the following circumstances:
Tennessee law also requires an initial determination about whether there is a danger of substantial harm to the child before considering a petition for grandparent visitation. A finding of substantial harm in those rare instances can be based upon harm to the relationship between an unmarried minor child and their grandparent when the court determines that:
A relationship with a grandchild is considered significant if:
Tennessee Code § 36-6-307 is the state law that defines the standards for the best interests of child for grandparent visitations. This includes:
Not all grandparents’ rights cases have to result in extensive court hearings and all the technicalities that they often entail. With the guidance of legal counsel, settlements can be negotiated in some cases that help avoid or minimize the amount of time that parents and grandparents have to spend in the courthouse.
As you can see, the laws in Tennessee place specific requirements on grandparents’ rights cases that can make them very difficult for the average person to pursue without legal representation. In short, given this difficult legal template, you do not want to be fighting for visitation on your own.
When you are involved in a grandparents’ visitation rights case, our firm will be able to help by proving the significance of your relationship to the child on a rock-solid basis. We will be able to present all of the evidence needed to get the court to honor your rights to continue your special connection with your grandchildren.
Shannon A. Jones, Attorney at Law, has the skills to negotiate a possible out-of-court agreement with all the parties and also take charge of cases that need to be litigated in family court.
Do you need assistance exercising your rights as a grandparent in Memphis or the surrounding area? If so, discuss your rights with an experienced family attorney to make sure that you can preserve your relationship with your grandchildren uninterrupted and without unnecessary complications.
Shannon A. Jones, Attorney at Law, is a former General Sessions Judge in Crockett County and takes cases involving the rights of children and their grandparents very seriously. Call (901) 562-3605 or contact us online to set up an appointment for a free, compassionate consultation to protect your rights as a loving grandparent.