When you’re a grandparent who is used to seeing your grandchildren, nothing is scarier than imagining not being able to visit with them. In some cases of divorce, the reality is that a grandparent may have less time with their grandchildren. Sometimes, they lose visitation altogether.
Some states, including Tennessee have their own unique laws regarding grandparent visitation and custody rights.
What are Tennessee’s grandparents’ rights laws?
Tennessee has specific guidelines for grandparents who would like to obtain visitation. At least one of these guidelines must be met for a grandparent to receive visitation without the parents’ permission:
- Showing that the grandparent and grandchild had a significant relationship for a year
- Showing that another state granted visitation rights
- Showing that one of the parents has passed away
- Seeking custody due to the parents of the children getting divorced or never getting married
- Proving that the child lived with the grandparent for at least 12 months
- Abandonment by a parent for at least six months
When any of these six events happens, the court has the ability to grant a grandparent visitation or custody rights. In some cases, such as if a child is in danger, the court may award visitation more quickly.
It is important to note that parents do have some control over who sees their children. Though grandparents may petition for custody, the judge has the final say. If you’re a grandparent who would like to seek custody, make sure you have a strong case before you to go to court, so you can defend your request and take steps toward getting your visitation rights instated.