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Grandparent visitation awarded only in specific circumstances

Grandparents often share special relationships with their grandkids that transcend the bonds they have with even their own children. In Tennessee, grandparents often step up to help out the grandchildren that they love by providing child care, financial support and more to them when their parents cannot meet their needs. Grandparents can seek court-ordered visitation time with their grandchildren as well, but the circumstances under which a court may approve such a request are limited to specific occurrences.

For example, a grandparent may be awarded visitation time if one of the child's parents has died. Also, if a child lives only with one parent because their other parent has passed away, the parents of the deceased parent may have a claim for visitation time with the child to preserve their relationship with them. A parent who has been missing for at least six months may also serve as the basis for a grandparent visitation request if the grandparents are the parents of the missing parent.

Additionally, a grandparent's request for visitation may be approved if the child's parents are divorced. In this situation, a petition for grandparent visitation may be successful if the grandparent has had a lasting relationship with the child for at least a year or if the child lived with their grandparent for at least a year. Visitation may be awarded if it can be shown that the child would experience substantial harm if visitation is not allowed, and visitation must be in the child's best interests. Grandparent visitation awards from other states will also generally be honored in Tennessee.

A grandparent who wishes to secure visitation time with their grandchild must meet the requirements of the petition as set forth by Tennessee law. Therefore, it is important for grandparents put forth their best petitions possible to seek visitation time with their grandkids.

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