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Do Grandparents have Rights in TN?

Often, grandparents are denied access to their grandchildren. Today's changing family structure can bring added stress on parents, children, and grandparents, and can cause a strain on the relationship.

Many people are not aware that grandparents do have rights in Tennessee, unlike some states. Of course, grandparents are not guaranteed visitation because parents have the first say. But if the parents are refusing, then the grandparents can petition the court to establish visitation rights.

It’s important to note that grandparent rights have been developing in Tennessee for the past 40 years or so and that there are a variety of scenarios that have been presented in court: parents who are still married, one parent who is deceased, divorced parents, grandchildren who lived with grandparents for a period of time. The court treats each of these situations differently in terms of the analysis used to grant visitation with grandparents, but the court is looking at the “significant relationship” between the grandparents and grandchild and is always looking for what is in the child’s best interest.

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