A Legacy of Justice. A History of Success. Proud to Serve as Clarksville's Attorneys Since 1929

Earning visitation following a falling out

Many in Clarksville may agree with the saying that one of the benefits of having kids is grandkids. The grandparent-grandchild relationship can be incredibly strong, and one that could produce quite a bit of harm to both sides if ever severed. Many of the 65 million grandparents reported by the U.S. Census Bureau to be living in America would like agree with this assertion. This may be why so many dread the thought of being told by their adult children that they are no longer allowed to see their grandkids.

No family is immune from discord, and unfortunately many allow disagreements to drive a significant wedge in between them. For those who may have had a falling out with their adult children, there may not be any actual laws that allow for them to petition for grandparent visitation based on those circumstances alone. In cases involving family relationships, the courts often side with parents over grandparents when it comes to issues involving children.

That is not to say, however, that a grandparent cannot ask for visitation in cases not involving the death or divorce of an adult child. The Annotated Code of Tennessee states that people may seek for grandparent visitation rights in the following scenario:

  •          One had a significant relationship with his or her grandchildren immediately prior to it being severed.
  •          A parent or guardian did indeed reduce or completely end a grandparent’s relationship due to any other than abuse.
  •          Allowing the relationship to remain severed would cause significant emotional harm to the child.

In how it applies to this law, a significant relationship is determined to be one where the child lived with or was cared for by the grandparent for six consecutive months, or the grandparent had frequent visitation with the child for at least one year.