We often are asked about Grandparent rights in Tennessee, and yes, grandparents do have the right to file for visitation in our state. They can also file for custody.
However, the standard for both is very high.
When it comes to custody, a grandparent can't just show that they can better care for their grandchildren. They must actually show both parents are unfit to parent. While difficult to prove, in this day and age where addictions are becoming rampant, we are successfully representing many more grandparents who are having to step in and raise their grandchildren.
Visitation, on the other hand, where the parents are both fit, is a completely different standard of law. In these cases we are required to prove that the grandchildren once had a significant relationship with their grandparent that was severed by the parent and that because of this severance the child will suffer substantial harm. It can be a difficult case to prove but often grandparents can meet this burden because they have, in fact, played a significant part of their grandchildren's lives.
Our office handles these cases and will be glad to evaluate your case with you to best determine if you have a cause of action and when the best time to file will be.