Brentwood Grandparents’ Rights Attorney
Many parents welcome the support and assistance of a grandparent not only for advice, but also for help with childcare services. A divorce or separation, however, can change the family dynamic, including how involved a grandparent is with a grandchild’s life. Being cut off from contact with your grandchild can come as a shock. There are, however, steps that you can take to help protect your relationship with your family members. To learn more, please reach out to our dedicated Brentwood grandparents’ rights attorneys today.
Grandparent Visitation Privileges
In the U.S., parents have the right to visitation with their child and to make certain decisions on that child’s behalf. Usually, these parental rights trump those of other relatives, even grandparents. A grandparent can, however, seek visitation if the child’s parent objects to it, but only if:
- One of the child’s parents is deceased;
- The child’s parents are divorced, separated, or were never legally married;
- One of the child’s parents has been missing for the past six months;
- A court in another state ordered grandparent visitation;
- The child lived with the grandparent for at least a year and was removed by his or her parents; or
- The child and grandparent have maintained a significant bond for at least 12 months and severing that bond would be harmful to the child.
To obtain an official order granting visitation, a grandparent will need to prove that at least one of these factors applies in his or her case.
If attempting to prove that a failure to order visitation would be harmful to a child, a grandparent will need to demonstrate that:
- The child’s relationship with the grandparent is so significant that ending that relationship would cause him or her to suffer severe emotional harm;
- The grandparent acted as a primary caregiver to the child for at least six months and ending contact with the child will cause him or her to suffer a severe emotional loss; or
- The loss of a relationship with the grandparent would put the child at risk of substantial harm.
This can be a difficult standard to meet, but it is possible, especially with the help of an experienced Brentwood grandparents’ rights lawyer.
It is possible for a grandparent to seek custody of a grandchild if:
- The child’s parents are divorced;
- The child’s parents are deceased;
- The child was abandoned by his or her parents; or
- The child is being abused or neglected.
In addition to these requirements, a grandparent will need to provide evidence that a child’s parents are unfit or unable to care for a child. In making this determination, a court will assess the child’s best interests, the grandparents’ physical and financial ability to meet the child’s needs, and the unfitness of the parents in question.
Are You Seeking Visitation of Your Grandchild?
For help exercising your own visitation or custody rights as a grandparent in Tennessee, please reach out to Beal, Nations & Crutcher at 615-861-2304 and speak with one of our dedicated Brentwood grandparents’ rights lawyers today.