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Criminal Defense Attorney

Chattanooga Grandparents' Rights Lawyer

When asked what kinds of custody or visitation rights grandparents enjoy in Tennessee, many would respond, "none." However, following a relatively recent national trend, this is no longer the case. In cases where child dependency, neglect or abuse is known to exist, a grandparent may petition a court for custody based on what the court decides to be the "best interest" of the child. Because parents have primary rights to raise their children, however, a grandparent seeking custody must prove that the parents are unfit, for example, for reasons of drug or alcohol addiction.

Furthermore, in Tennessee a court may grant a grandparent rights of visitation if:

  • One of the parents is deceased.
  • The parents are unmarried or divorced.
  • One parent has been missing for six months.
  • Another state has issued an order of grandparent visitation.
  • The child had lived with the grandparent for 12 or more months.
  • The child and grandparent had a meaningful relationship for 12 or more months.

If you are grandparent looking for increased legal status concerning your grandchild's care and upbringing, Chattanooga grandparents' rights lawyer Mary Sullivan Moore can help.

A Grandparent's Significant Role

If you are a grandparent seeking visitation rights, one of the main things you will need to establish is that your grandchild would suffer emotional or other harm if the relationship came to an end. This is assumed to be the case if:

  • You had previously been the primary caregiver.
  • You and your grandchild had a significant relationship, the loss of which would cause emotional harm to the grandchild.

For the purposes of the court, you are automatically considered to have a "significant" relationship with your grandchild if:

  • Your grandchild lived with you for at least six months in a row.
  • You were your grandchild's full-time caregiver for at least six months in a row.
  • You had frequent visits with your grandchild for at least one year.

If you are concerned about the welfare of your grandchild and want to seek increased legal standing regarding custody or visitation, Chattanooga grandparents' rights attorney Mary Sullivan Moore can answer your questions and outline your options based on your individual situation.

Contact Our Office Today

Call us at 423-933-2924 or use the contact form if you're ready to seek more involvement in the lives of your grandchildren.

Office Location

Mary Sullivan Moore, Attorney at Law, PLLP
622 Georgia Ave Suite 101
Chattanooga, TN 37402

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