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Ely, Counselor at Law
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 102584
Experience:  Private practice with focus on family, criminal, PI, consumer protection, and business consultation.
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My grandaughters mother is refusing to let me see the child.

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My grandaughter's mother is refusing to let me see the child. She and my son are at odds and not getting along. Do I have the right to petition for visitations on my own? Prior for the last year, I have been an active part of her life. I would see her when through my son's visitations.

First off, I am sorry for your situation! But the good news is that majority of states have "grandparent's rights" statutes that allow grandparents to see their grandchildren for a "reasonable amount of time."

Specifics depend on the state. Please tell me what state you are in so I can advise you in regards XXXXX XXXXX go on. Also, please press ACCEPT - don't worry, I will still be here to guide you through the steps.


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Customer: replied 8 years ago.
I provided the state, TN in the additional informaiton. Can you answer specific for my state?
Sure, my apologies.

The Tennessee legislature has enacted states which enable grandparents to seek visitation rights with their grandchildren in particular situations. T.C.A. § 36-6-306

(a) allows grandparents requesting visitation to receive a trial if any of these situations are true:

(1) the father or mother of an unmarried minor is deceased;
(2) the child's father or mother are divorced, legally separated, or were never married to each other;
(3) the child's father or mother has been missing for not less than six months;
(4) the court of another state has ordered grandparent visitation;
(5) the child resided in the home of the grandparent for a period of twelve months or more and was subsequently removed from the home by the parent or parents (this grandparent-grandchild relationship establishes a rebuttable presumption that denial of visitation may result in irreparable harm to the child); or
(6) the child and the grandparents maintained a significant existing relationship for a period of twelve months or more immediately preceding severance of the relationship, this relationship was severed by the parent or parents for reasons other than abuse or presence of a danger of substantial harm to the child, and severance of this relationship is likely to occasion substantial emotional harm to the child.

Is anything from 1-6 true in your case?
Customer: replied 8 years ago.
#6 is true. the mother and father is not married and are disputing and thus....
What is my next step to petition under this law for visitation?


Ok, I now need to know what county your GRANDCHILD lives in so I can find the proper court jurisdiction for you.

By the way, please press ACCEPT. Your question will not close and I'll be following up with you for hours if you'd like, but JA is based on mutual trust, and hopefully I have demonstrated my committment.
Customer: replied 8 years ago.
The child resides in Hardeman County, TN and this is the county in which child support case is active. I reside in Madison County, TN.

Can we please finish and then I will accept...

Ok - I'll take your word for it. :)

Your jurisdiction would be the 25th Judicial District for the State of Tennessee. The address is here:

100 North Main Street     
Bolivar, TN 38008
(731) 658-652

You have to call them to see if they would want the petition filed straight to the court or the to district clerk, and if the latter, then they'll give you an address.

Ask them (1) how much is it to file a grandparents rights petition, and (2) how much for service?

Once you have this, you send three copies of the intake (be it court or district clerk, whatever they say). They'll take one and serve it upon the other side. The court will then set a date for the hearing and send you a notice for it in the mail.

Let me take care of something and I'll brb with a sample petition. Press (need more info) to accept w/o payment and it'll get back to me to fill in the rest.
Ely and 2 other Family Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 8 years ago.
I don't understand the last statement, please clarify
Sorry - I just meant I had to go for a second. I'm back.

Continuing where we left off:

Once you find out how much it is to file, send the 3 petitions to the address. They'll serve the other side with one of the copies. A hearing will be set. Attend it and argue your case.

I do not have a Tennessee sample petition. I am sorry. BUT, do not fret - an attorney should draft one for you for less than $100, or even a paralegal for less.

Best of luck in your case....