Murfreesboro Family Law Firm Protects Grandparents Rights

Helping foster healthy grandparent-grandchild relationships

Divorce is an emotional process for all those involved. The adjustment can be especially difficult for children, so it is important to maintain a healthy environment with two engaged parents. Extended family also plays an important role. A healthy relationship with both grandparents can provide needed stability and support for children during this process. Unfortunately, when a marriage breaks apart, families can be polarized and these relationships can suffer.

Tennessee law recognizes the importance of grandparent involvement in children’s lives, providing for certain visitation rights. The grandparent’s rights attorneys at Kidwell, South, Beasley and Haley help grandparents enforce these rights for the well-being of their grandchildren.

Navigating grandparents through their visitation rights under Tennessee law

Tennessee’s domestic relations laws allow grandparents to file a petition for visitation with the court in certain circumstances. Generally, a grandparent’s right to seek visitation is much stronger where the child’s parents are separated or divorced, or when one parent is missing or deceased. Grandparents also may be eligible to file a visitation petition if the child previously lived in the home of or otherwise maintained a significant relationship with the grandparent. Rights to visitation are more limited where a child has been removed from the parents’ custody and placed in foster care. The legal provisions covering grandparents’ rights are complicated and best entrusted with an experienced Murfreesboro family law attorney.

Experienced legal advocacy on behalf of grandparents

A preliminary determination that the court must make in deciding a grandparent’s petition for visitation is whether denying the request would result in substantial harm to the child. Broadly speaking, this can be shown by demonstrating that a significant relationship between the grandparent and grandchild existed, to the extent that cutting off this relationship would be emotionally damaging to the child. Substantial harm may also be shown in circumstances where a grandparent served as the child’s primary caregiver, and breaking off a relationship would result in a child’s immediate needs not being met.

The court also must determine if visitation with the grandparent is in the child’s best interest. This is a legal standard involving a number of potentially relevant factors:

  • Relationship and emotional ties between grandchild and grandparent
  • Grandchild’s preference
  • Hostility between grandparent and child’s parent, and its impact on the child
  • Grandparent’s good faith in filing the petition
  • Existing parenting arrangement between the child’s divorced or separated parents

The Murfreesboro grandparent’s rights attorneys at Kidwell, South, Beasley and Haley know the required showings that must be made in order to secure grandparent visitation. With more than 40 years of experience in divorce and family law, we have reunited countless grandparents with their grandchildren.

Talk with a Murfreesboro grandparents rights attorney today to discuss your options

Through a free initial consultation, our divorce and family law attorneys can assess your case and walk through your options to regain your precious relationship as a grandparent. Call us today at 615-893-1331 or contact us online.