As the dynamics and structures of Tennessee families change, it can be hard for non-immediate members to stay connected and close to each other. This may be especially true if hostilities or conflict force certain individuals to end their relationships and alienation occurs between the two sides of a child's family. When two parents divorce or end their relationship it can be hard on their kids to stay close to their aunts, uncles, cousins, and grandparents.
It is not uncommon to hear parents repeat the popular phrase, "It takes a village to raise a child". Often that village will include neighbors and friends, daycare providers and teachers, as well as a host of other people who all may support the development of a Tennessee child. However, when it comes to bringing up a child, it is often that child's family that takes on a pivotal role in their development.
When Tennessee parents go through a divorce, how custody matters will be arranged often depends on the best interests of the child who will be affected by the outcome. If a child's interests will be supported better in the home of one parent rather than the other, then it is likely that a court will place the child with the more appropriate parent. To this end, when making decisions that will impact children, courts try to look at their unique needs to decide how best to serve their interests.
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.
Practically all grandparents love their grandkids even before they have a chance to meet them. Even if they do not have strong relationships with their own children, Tennessee grandparents often go out of their way to make sure that their grandchildren know and understand just how much they love them. It is for this reason that some grandparents feel compelled to seek legal intervention when they are not able to be with their grandchildren as much as they would like. In Tennessee, grandparents may seek visitation with their grandkids only under certain conditions.
Last week this Hamilton-based legal blog discussed an important United States Supreme Court case concerning the rights of grandparents to seek visitation time with their grandchildren. In the decision the Court determined that parents have a right to decide with whom their children spend their time, but this determination did not prevent the child's grandparents from seeking reasonable visitation time with them.
Grandparents often relish the time that they get to spend with their grandchildren. Unlike the relationship that develops between a Tennessee parent and their child, the relationship between a grandparent and grandchild is focused on fun rather than discipline. While it is a parent's responsibility to make sure that their child grows up to be a reasonable, caring adult, a grandparent may only be absorbed with the child's enjoyment and making sure that they are having fun.
Divorce is a reality for many Tennessee families, and when it happens it is traumatic for many individuals. It is hard on the individuals who must concede that their relationship failed and who must figure out how they will return to living as single individuals. It is incredibly tough on the children of the ending marriage who must find ways to cope with their loss and potential upheaval in their everyday lives. It is also very challenging for the extended family members who know that their relationships with the divorcing couple will never be the same once the marriage has ended.