Hamilton County Grandparents’ Rights Lawyer

You love your grandchildren and would do anything to keep them safe and happy. When something happens to jeopardize that relationship, like a falling out with the children’s parents, you might not know where to turn.

In heart-wrenching situations like grandparent’s losing contact with their grandchildren through no fault of their own, an experienced Hamilton County grandparents’ rights lawyer could help. Our compassionate family attorneys could explore every legal option to preserve your relationship with your grandchildren.

Pursuing Grandparent Visitation in Hamilton County Family Court

Most grandparents do not want to interfere with the relationship between their grandchildren and the parents. Instead, they simply want to spend time with their grandchildren and support them whenever possible. Unfortunately, negative things can happen, leaving a grandparent wondering whether they have the right to ask for court-ordered contact with their grandchildren.

A grandparent has a right to petition the court for visitation under state law. However, that right is limited. If the natural parents live together and are deemed fit to parent, a judge cannot override their ability to raise their children as they see fit. The law considers court-ordered grandparent visitation an invasion of the parents’ privacy if there is no evidence that the parents have or will harm the children.

Petitioning Under State Law

Under Tennessee Code Annotated §36-6-306, a court may consider a grandparent’s petition for visitation only in one of the following circumstances:

  • A grandparent has a visitation order from another state granting them access to the children
  • One of the child’s parents is deceased
  • One of the parents is missing for at least six months
  • The parents are not married to each other or, if they were, are now legally separated or divorced
  • The child resided with the grandparents for a minimum of 12 months before the parents removed them from the grandparents’ care.
  • For at least 12 months before the parents denied contact with the grandparents, the grandparents and grandchild maintained a significant existing relationship with each other.

If the grandparents and grandchildren have a significant existing relationship which the parents then sever, the children might suffer substantial emotional harm. This harm may be sufficient for a judge to order visitation grandparent visitation.

Parents Ultimately Have Control Over Relationship

It should be noted that even if the grandparents and their grandchildren had a significant and longstanding relationship, a parent maintains complete control to terminate that relationship if the grandparents abused or neglected the children.

Grandparent visitation cases are highly complex, so individuals should consult a capable lawyer in Hamilton County to protect their rights and fight to obtain the best possible outcome.

Can a Grandparent Obtain Custody of Their Grandchild in Hamilton County?

While gaining custody can be even more challenging than establishing visitation, it is possible under certain circumstances. Generally, state law presumes that children are best served when their natural parents raise them. Before a judge grants custody to a grandparent, they must be convinced that the parents are unfit, and the children could be substantially harmed by remaining in their parents’ care.

If a grandparent proves these elements of substantial harm and parental unfitness, a court must determine if granting custody to the grandparents is in the children’s best interests. A skilled attorney could protect an individual’s rights by engaging mental health professionals, custody evaluators, and other witnesses in Hamilton County to verify the benefit of keeping the children in their grandparents’ care.

Learn More from a Caring Hamilton County Grandparents’ Rights Attorney

Grandparents provide a level of love and support to their grandchildren that few others can offer. When the grandparent-grandchild relationship is severed, everyone suffers.

If you fear losing time with your grandkids, consider speaking with a practiced Hamilton County grandparents’ rights lawyer. Our firm’s dedicated team could explore every legal option to help you maintain a meaningful role in your grandchildren’s lives. Reach out today to schedule a consultation.

Get Help From Our Experienced Attorneys