In general, the law recognizes that parents hold the ultimate rights to their children. Even so, many states do provide grandparents’ rights, and Tennessee is one of those states.
According to Tennessee General Assembly, the court can give grandparents some rights, depending on the situation.
Grandparents may request visitation rights for a variety of reasons. Generally, it is because the parents will not allow them to see their grandchildren. Sometimes, it may be because one of the parents died or there was a divorce. It may also be a situation where one parent is absent.
If parents refuse to allow a grandparent to see the grandchildren, the court must determine why and if it is a valid reason. Usually, if parents suddenly cut off access without a good reason and the child has an established relationship with the grandparent, the court will grant them rights. In situations where there is a death or an absent parent, the court also will typically try to give grandparents some rights to see the children.
The court’s main concern is always for the well-being of the child. The judge will ensure that providing grandparent’s rights will not harm the child in any way, and it will be beneficial to the child. Some courts will even give grandparents custody when parents are unable to provide adequate care for the children or create an unsafe environment.
In general, grandparents do not have custodial rights to grandchildren. The court must step in to provide any legal rights. Courts will generally only do so if it is what is best for the children in the situation.