Grandparents Rights (TROXEL V. GRANVILLE)
Summary of Grandparents rights
Until recently grandparent’s right were considered unconstitutional in many states, now most states have some form of grandparent’s rights. In Tennessee, it has been a struggle for many grandparents to even have limited visitation with their grandchildren. The 14th amendment of the constitution gives explicit rights to biological parents. For a court to force time between grandchildren and grandparents is direct violation of this right. According to attorney Jes Beard, “Tennessee courts have historically held that, a parent is entitled to the custody, companionship, and care of the child, and should not be deprived thereof except by due process of law. It is a natural right, but not inalienable. The parents are trusted with the custody of the child upon the idea that under the instincts of parental devotion it is best for the child.” (Beard, 1998) This may be true in most cases but does this give the courts the right to say that grandparents do not have rights in all cases is the question that comes to mind when thinking about this situation. As in most conflicts, there is always more than one answer and more than one reason for there to be a problem. If the child has gotten accustomed to spending time with the grandparents, it must be upsetting for the routine to change suddenly. It also would not be fair to the child to be made to spend time with the grandparent if there was no connection between them; a child needs to have a stable environment where they feel safe and secure.
One of the most notorious cases in grandparent’s rights is TROXEL V. GRANVILLE. “On June 5, 2000, the Supreme Court handed down its decision in Troxel v. Granville. At issue was a Washington State non-parental visitation statute which provided that "[a]ny person may petition the court for visitation rights at any time ... [and t]he court may order visitation rights for any person when visitation may...