When Mom Says No, Ask Grandma

I’m a day late and a dollar short in speaking on this topic, but I had to address it despite my tardiness – this is a personal favorite of mine. Yesterday was National Grandparents’ Day, and I am extremely lucky in that my boys have two sets of wonderful grandparents. Both my parents and my in-laws are supportive, giving, and love to spoil our kids. They help with childcare, attend school functions, and take our boys on fun outings like fishing trips and camp outs. In our local communities, our firm has represented many sets of grandparents in various cases. I’ve heard one of our local judges say many times, “Thank God for grandparents.”

However, unfortunately for many, not all children have positive relationships with their grandparents. That may be the fault of the grandparents themselves who don’t want to be involved in the children’s lives, or it may be due to bad blood between the grandparents and the parents. Our laws in Tennessee provide that grandparents can ask the court to give them rights to visit their grandchildren, provided that certain conditions are met. I’ve seen cases where the grandparents were being wrongly kept from their grandchildren, and they needed the court’s help to protect their relationships with those children. However, I’ve also seen situations where a grandparent was toxic and did not need to be around a child, and a parent had to fight his or her own parents to keep that child safe. If either of these situations sounds familiar and you have questions about grandparents’ rights, we will be happy to speak to you about your particular rights as a parent or grandparent.