Compassionate, family-centered attorneys strive to help grandparents achieve a favorable visitation plan
Child custody and visitation cases are inherently emotional and stressful for both parents and children. In many cases, grandparents also wish to be included in visitation plans, but face additional hurdles when seeking legal protections. Tennessee law provides grandparent visitation rights, but only in specific circumstances. At Pate & Knott Attorneys at Law, we understand the special bond between grandchildren and grandparents and work hard to help you maintain that relationship even after a divorce or separation. Our Murfreesboro grandparent's rights attorneys protect your rights and your relationship with your grandchildren.
Guiding grandparents through the process of establishing and maintaining visitation rights
Under Tennessee law, a grandparent may petition the court for visitation of a grandchild provided specific criteria are satisfied. In the event that a child is removed from parental custody and placed in a foster home or other facility operated by a licensed agency or the court, a grandparent may be entitled to visitation if:
- The court determines visitation to be in the best interests of the child
- The grandparent would protect the child from further abuse by the a family member or other perpetrator
- The grandparent has not been involved in any specified criminal acts against the grandchild or the grandparent's own child.
In many cases, the custodial parent(s) may deny a grandparent visitation. A grandparent that is being denied visitation may petition the court for visitation if
- The child's mother or father is deceased
- The child's parents are divorced, legally separated or have never been married
- Either parent has been missing for at least six months
- The child lived with the grandparent for at least 12 months
The grandparent and child maintained a significant relationship for at least 12 months immediately before the relationship was severed, and such severance would cause emotional harm to the child
The best interest of the child ultimately governs all grandparent visitation petitions
As with all types of child custody and visitation determinations, the court analyzes the best interests of the child and orders accordingly. When evaluating a grandparent's request for visitation, the court considers among other things
- The duration and quality of the child-grandparent relationship
- Existing emotional ties
- The child's own wishes if he or she is of a sufficient age and maturity
- Existing hostilities between the grandparent and child's parent(s) and each party's willingness to cooperate and foster close relationships
- The parent's existing parenting plan and time-sharing schedule and whether grandparent visitation would interfere with the parent's ongoing relationship with the child
The legal process for establishing grandparent visitation rights is not easy. We work diligently to reach amicable solutions that maintain a sense of stability and comfort for the child.
Our experienced Murfreesboro grandparent's rights attorneys are your staunchest ally
The relationship between a grandparent and grandchild is a precious and special bond that should be maintained if at all possible. At Pate & Knott Attorneys at Law, our team of Murfreesboro grandparent's rights attorneys are adept at helping all types of families overcome challenges and reach mutually-beneficial solutions. Contact us online or call us at 615-848-1221 to schedule an initial consultation to discuss your case. We offer flexible appointment times at our Murfreesboro office, centrally-located near the judicial building on the square.