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Tina
Tina, Lawyer
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 31680
Experience:  JD, 16 years legal experience including family law
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I have not seen my grandson for a year. My son and ex-girlfriend

Resolved Question:

I have not seen my grandson for a year. My son and ex-girlfriend never married and she refuses to let him or us see the child. My husband and I want to have a relationship with our grandchild but we do not know what to do. The child will be 3 on May 25th and for the first two years of his life my son (who was living with us at the time) saw the child every other week. No legal proceedings (child support or child visitation) have ever been pursued because my son was out of work for quite a while during the first two years of the child's life. He (my son) is now working but cannot afford any legal fees. Attempts to talk with the mother (via text messages) have been ignored. I have been emotionally distraught over this matter and decided to take it in my hands and see what we, as grandparents, can do to see the child. (Based on rumor, I would also like a DNA test to insure that the child is, in fact, our grandchild.)
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  Tina replied 1 year ago.

Hello and welcome.

My name is XXXXX XXXXX my goal is to provide you with excellent service today. I am sorry to hear of your difficult situation. Before I can give you an accurate answer to your question, please provide the following additional information:

Is there some way you or your son could come up with legal fees to challenge the mother's denial of visitation? Does the mother have resources to vigorously challenge your request for visitation if you were to file suit?

I look forward to assisting you as soon as I have received this information. Thank you.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.


Do you have any idea what the maximum amount of legal fees would be?


 


The mother does not have a lot of resources except maybe from her parents....but I do not know if they would be able to VIGOROUSLY challenge the suit.

Expert:  Tina replied 1 year ago.
Hello again,

There are many factors that would determine how much it might cost to pursue this, including whether the mother contests your petition and how vigorously she does so. Therefore, it is difficult to put a final price tag on it.

If she did not vigorously contest it and you retained an attorney who provided you with a discount, it could potentially cost as little as a couple thousand dollars, but the price could be much higher than that if the mother does contest the matter.

State law DOES provide for a grandparent's right to petition the court for visitation rights where the parents have never been married. However, since your son's rights have never been established by court order, it would normally be best for him to file a petition to establish parental rights and then you could intervene in that case seeking visitation. That way, the costs between you and your son would be split as well.

It is your son who would typically need to request a court order for a DNA test, since he is the one who may or may not parental rights to the child.

Here is a link which sets out the circumstances in which a court will hold a hearing on grandparent's visitation rights. If you can show that it would be in the child's best interests for visitation to be granted, then the court is likely to grant your request:

http://grandparents.about.com/od/grandparentsrights/qt/Grandparent_Rights_in_Tennessee.htm

Another option is for your son to petition to establish parental rights, obtain visitation and then simply permit you to have contact with your grandson while he has visitation. That would save you the expense of having to seek grandparent's rights, but he would need to pursue the matter in court in order to gain visitation for his child.

If you cannot afford an attorney, you may wish to inquire with the local legal aid offices to see whether you qualify for low cost assistance. Or call the state bar association and see whether any family law attorneys are willing to handle your case at a reduced fee.


I hope this helps clarify the situation for you. Please remember to rate my service once you have all the information you need. If you have any other questions, please ask me – I’ll be happy to respond. Thank you!

Tina

Customer: replied 1 year ago.


So essentially if my son does not pursue his rights we would have a difficult time getting our rights, is that correct?

Expert:  Tina replied 1 year ago.
Yes, that is correct. He needs to assert parental rights before or at the same time that you pursue grandparents visitation. Otherwise, a court is not likely to rule on your request because there has been no parent-child relationship established yet.

I hope that clarifies this for you.
Tina, Lawyer
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 31680
Experience: JD, 16 years legal experience including family law
Tina and 3 other Family Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 1 year ago.


Thank you and have a good day.

Expert:  Tina replied 1 year ago.
You are very welcome and have a wonderful day as well.

Please remember to provide me with a positive rating so I will be compensated for my time assisting you. It would be very much appreciated. Thank you.

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