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Parents are favored over grandparents in some family law cases

The relationship between grandparents and grandchildren can be a beautiful thing. When the bond between parents of the child and the grandparents sour, the relationship between grandparents and grandchildren might suffer.

The benefits of this relationship are considerable. Since grandparents' rights cases hinge on the benefits of the relationship for the grandchildren, it is important to understand these, as well as how the laws in Tennessee view grandparents' rights.

Benefits of children having a relationship with grandparents

One of the biggest benefits for the children is that they are better adjusted socially. Minors who are close to their grandparents are often better able to handle difficult social situations. They are more likely to get along with their peers and less likely to have behavioral and emotional problems. This can help the children well into the future.

Tennessee laws err on the side of the parents

Tennessee laws respect the rights of the parents to make decisions for their children. With this in mind, grandparents' rights aren't a factor for the courts unless there are some very specific points that are met in the case. Grandparents must show that these factors are present in the case in order to have a chance for the court to award grandparents any rights at all.

Typically, grandparents can't exercise rights to visitation or custody of children if the parents are both still living and are able to care for the grandchildren. There are exceptions that might be possible if the parents are divorced or not married. However, these are few and far between. One would be if a parent has been missing for at least six months.

If a grandchild has lived with his or her grandparents for at least 12 months, the grandparent might be able to exercise rights based on the established relationship. This comes into the picture when the parent tries to pull the child out of the grandparent's home, since that is the home with which the children are familiar.

Grandparents who decide that they need to take action to be involved in their grandchild's life should think carefully about their options. With the way that Tennessee law views grandparent's rights, it might be better for you to try to work out a deal with your child so that you can see your grandchildren. If that fails, make sure that you check the criteria of these cases to see where your case fits on the spectrum.

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Law Office of Meghan A. Bodie
109 S. Northshore Drive
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