Tennessee grandparents undoubtedly want the best for their children and grandchildren. Being a grandparent is generally perceived as spending time with the grandchildren on holidays, taking them on trips and then returning them to a nurturing atmosphere. Unfortunately, circumstances can arise where grandparents feel that the child would be better served to live with them.

Grandparents thinking about child custody and visitation should understand important factors about the process. If grandparents want custody of a child, there must be a good reason. Physical abuse, sexual abuse, emotional mistreatment, neglect and abandonment by a parent are key reasons why grandparents might be given custody. If the parents have substance abuse problems and behave in a way that leaves them unable to adequately care for a child, this could be the foundation for a grandparent to be granted custody.

Sometimes, the parent will simply surrender the child to the grandparents. It is wise for grandparents to get a legal recognition that they are caring for the child. This allows them access to information and decision-making power. Social services can remove a child from the parents’ custody if the situation has grown dangerous, and relatives will be contacted to potentially care for the child.

The grandparents can also sue for child custody. Issues that could impact a successful legal filing to gain custody of a grandchild include whether the grandparent has standing to do so. The child’s best interests will come to the forefront. Child custody orders can always be changed, which should be factored in. When grandparents seek custody, it could result in disputes between them and the biological parents. For a child custody and visitation case involving grandparents, a law firm experienced in family law might be helpful.