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Can Grandparents be Banned from Seeing Grandchildren After Divorce?

Franklin divorce lawyer helps grandparents protect their rights

In a typical divorce, only the two spouses would be likely to go to the mat over issues like child custody or child support. But there are many more people involved in a child’s life, including their grandparents, aunts and uncles, cousins, and family friends. If one parent ends up being the primary residential parent, they may want to keep the child away from people on the other side of the family – either out of spite or for real reasons like a concern over the toxic behavior the family members exhibit.

If you are a grandparent now being denied visitation with your grandchildren because of a split, you may feel frustrated and desperate to get visitation or even custody of your grandchildren. Meanwhile, if you are a parent concerned about the toxic influence of your ex’s parents, you may want to take steps to protect your children from their grandparents. I’m Judy A. Oxford, an experienced divorce lawyer and family law attorney with an office in Franklin, and I help both parents and grandparents in issues concerning visitation. Whatever side of the issue you are on, I will help you explore your legal options and fight for your interests.

Parental rights to limit contact or visitation with grandparents

As a parent, the law is on your side when it comes to restricting or denying visitation to grandparents or to anyone else in your children’s lives who is not a legal parent. As a parent, it is your fundamental right to be able to make such decisions. However, it can be more difficult to restrict your ex’s parents from having visitation during your ex’s parenting time. The court is going to consider what is in the best interests of the children when determining visitation issues. Typically, absent unusual circumstances or a risk of harm to the child, it would probably be in a child’s best interest to have a relationship and ongoing contact with a grandparent. You will need to be prepared with good facts and a good argument for why it’s not in your child’s best interest to see their grandparents if you want to restrict your ex’s parents from seeing the children.

I help parents put together their strongest case for the custody and visitation schedule they think is best for their children, even if that means excluding contact with grandparents. I help parents understand what the courts will consider important and try to make the case that will be most effective in getting the outcome they want.

Can grandparents have visitation rights to their grandchildren?

If you are a grandparent who wants to have legal visitation with your grandchildren, there may still be hope for you. Tennessee does grant rights to biological and legally adoptive grandparents in certain situations. The first step in qualifying is to be a grandparent whose grandchild’s father or mother are divorced, legally separated, or never married to each other; or your grandchild is under 18 and their father or mother is deceased; or your grandchild and you have maintained a significant existing relationship for at least 12 months just before contact was cut off or severely reduced, and that the parent severed or severely reduced your relationship for reasons other than abuse or danger of substantial harm to the child; or other situations set forth in the grandparents rights statute. Once you meet this first criteria, there are still some other criteria to meet in order to gain grandparent visitation.

I work with grandparents to help you better understand your legal rights given the specifics of their situation. In many cases, going to mediation may be enough to get visitation reinstated since personal misunderstandings are often at the heart of the lack of contact. However, I fight for grandparents where necessary to try to get you the visitation rights you deserve.

Contact a compassionate Franklin family lawyer for guidance

A relationship with a grandparent is a significant relationship after a parent’s divorce. If you are being denied visitation with your grandchildren, see if I can help. Or, if you are a parent trying to protect your children from toxic grandparents, let’s discuss how we might be able to keep them at a distance. Call me, Judy A. Oxford, an experienced Franklin divorce attorney, to learn about your rights and your legal options. Call my office at (615) 791-8511 to schedule a free consultation, or fill out the secure online form on my site.