Franklin Family Lawyer Protects Grandparents’ Rights  in Tennessee

Helping you to get custody or visitation when in the child’s best interests

You love your grandchildren, and you love spending time with them. But then your son gets a divorce, and your grandchildren’s mother won’t let you see them and you are devastated. Or maybe you have a falling out with one of your children, and they use the grandchildren as pawns in your rift and cut off contact. What are you to do? You’ve tried to work it out so you can see the children, but they refuse.

You may feel powerless or that you have no other options, but you do. In some cases, you may have the grounds to sue for visitation or even custody of your grandchildren. I’m Judy A. Oxford, an experienced family attorney in Franklin, and I fight for clients just like you who are trying to see their grandchildren or gain custody of them when they feel the situation is no longer safe for them. I explore every legal angle to show why contact or custody with you is in the best interests of the child, based on your previous relationship and other factors.

When can I get custody of a grandchild in Tennessee?

Getting legal custody of a grandchild is much harder than establishing visitation rights, but it is possible. The courts consider the best place for a child to be with one or both of their parents. Therefore, you must show that it is not in the child’s best interests to be with the parents and that is in the best interests to be in your custody. This can be difficult since it not only involves showing parental unfitness and substantial harm to the child while in the parent’s care, but also involves proving that you are the best choice for caretaker.

I fight to help my clients prove this, such as by putting together evidence of abuse or neglect by the parents, gathering eyewitness testimony about the care you have provided or the type of relationship you have with your grandchildren, and interviewing mental health professionals who can testify about the impact on the children.

Grandparent custody cases are complex, and I explore every detail to present a strong case to the courts about why custody with you would be best for the children.

Getting court-ordered visitation with grandchildren

Many grandparents I talk to don’t want to take the grandchildren away from their parents; they just want to be able to spend time with their grandchildren, and they can’t because of some rift with the parents or because the parents have decided to move. The courts may order that grandparents have visitation with the grandchildren if it can be shown that cutting off contact or severely reducing contact would harm the children.

For example, you may have spent time with your grandchildren every day or several times a week for more than a year. Now your child has cut off contact, and there is a significant change to the daily routine and attachments of your grandchild. That can cause serious emotional and mental harm to the child, and the courts recognize that.

Some situations in which you might have grounds to sue for visitation include:

  • One or both of the grandchild’s parents is dead
  • One of the parents has been missing at least six months
  • The child’s parents are divorced, legally separated, or were never married to each other
  • The child lived with you for at least one year

When I help grandparents get visitation, I work to show the quality of the relationship and how the child would be harmed if it were severed. These cases are not easy to prove, and I work with witnesses, mental health experts when possible, and others to provide as much information as practical and make the case as strong as it can be. I use every tool the law provides to ensure you get visitation with your grandchildren and can restore your relationship.

Our Franklin TN family lawyer is compassionate to grandparents

Losing your grandchildren can be devastating. I understand that, and I will fight to help you preserve that relationship, while also offering compassionate representation to you to make the legal process a little easier. Call my office at (615) 791-8511 to work with an experienced Franklin family lawyer dedicated to getting results. You can also use the secure online form to schedule a free 20-minute consultation.