Chattanooga Visitation Rights

Visitation rights in Chattanooga are a right all parents have. However, unless you can demonstrate to the court that the time you are requesting is best for your child, there is a chance that you may not win your case. To better your odds of a favorable outcome, retain the service of a lawyer.

What Are Visitation Rights in Chattanooga?

Visitation in Chattanooga is generally defined in terms of a parenting plan. Parenting plans lay out each parent’s rights to visit with a child. There are a number of relevant parties that can petition the courts for visitation rights.

Typically, the parents of the child can request visitation rights. There are also statutes in Tennessee that allows stepparents to petition the court for visitation and that is done under TCA 36-6-303. Grandparents are also able to petition the court for visitation rights. That statute that gives guidance on those rules is on TCA 36-6-306.

Who Determines and Regulates These Rights

The hope is that the parties to a particular lawsuit are able to determine and regulate visitation by working out a case amicably. In the event that folks are unable to work out their case amicably a judge of either the circuit court, the chancery court, or the juvenile court in Chattanooga would make those decisions.

Contesting a Ruling for Visitation

The determination of the visitation rights can be contested. When parties are trying to reach an agreement regarding visitation, people often use a mediation process, which is really just a fancy word for a settlement conference. In the event that they are unable to reach a resolution at that mediation, they are able to contest visitation rights and ultimately have a judge decide what visitation rights are appropriate and in the best interest of the child.

Where to Discuss Visitation Rights

To discuss visitation rights in Chattanooga, there are a couple places a person could go. If a couple is married and they are divorcing, either the circuit court or the chancery court has jurisdiction over visitation of their child. If the parties are unmarried and have had a child, then they would go to the juvenile court to discuss visitation rights. As far as stepparent or grandparent visitation, either court would have jurisdiction. Typically, grandparent visitation cases are brought in juvenile court.

Required Proof to Gain Visitation Rights

To gain visitation rights in Chattanooga, a parent just needs to prove that they are an appropriate person to have visitation with that child and that visitation can be done so in a safe way.
Under TCA 36-6-306 and TCA 36-6-303 , a grandparent or stepparent has to prove that they have had some sort of existing relationship with the child. There are a number of different things that the court can look at to determine if there is a significant relationship. Then, they have to prove that they no longer have the ability to see that child. In other words, that the parent or parents are preventing the grandparent from seeing the child. The stepparent visitation was recently changed on July 1, 2019 to more closely mirror the grandparent visitation statute.

Speak to an Attorney Who Could Help

Visitation is a right for Chattanooga parents. To ensure that you have the adequate amount of time you desire with your child, you need a lawyer who can build a case and present it to the court. While this is a stressful time in your life, take the time to reach out to a divorce lawyer who can help you.

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