Domestic (Family Law) Cases

Grandparent Visitation

Except as indicated, all indented material is copied directly from the court’s opinion. 

Decisions of the Tennessee Supreme Court

Decisions of the Tennessee Court of Appeals

Rose v. Malone, No. M2021-00569-COA-R3-CV, p. 4-5 (Tenn. Ct. App. July25, 2022).

On appeal, our “[r]eview of findings of fact by a trial court in civil actions is de novo upon the record of the trial court, accompanied by a presumption of correctness of the findings, unless the preponderance of evidence is otherwise.” Manning v. Manning, 474 S.W.3d 252, 256 (Tenn. Ct. App. 2015) (citing Tenn. R. App. P. 13(d); In re Taylor B.W., 397 S.W.3d 105, 112 (Tenn. 2013)). We have explained that “[a] determination of visitation ‘often hinges on subtle factors such as the [parties’] demeanor and credibility during the trial proceedings.’” Id. (quoting Battleson v. Battleson, 223 S.W.3d 278, 282 (Tenn. Ct. App. 2006)). Accordingly, when determinations of credibility and weight of testimony are involved, “considerable deference must be afforded to the trial court when the trial judge had the opportunity to observe the witness’[s] demeanor and to hear in-court testimony.” Id. (quoting Morris v. Allen, 338 S.W.3d 417, 426 (Tenn. 2011)). Our review of conclusions of law by a trial court is de novo, with no presumption of correctness. McGarity v. Jerrolds, 429 S.W.3d 562, 566 (Tenn. Ct. App. 2013) (citing Blair v. Brownson, 197 S.W.3d 681, 684 (Tenn. 2006) (citation omitted)).

Cupples v. Holmes, No. W2021-00523-COA-R3-CV (Tenn. Ct. App. Mar. 31, 2022).

As this Court has recently explained concerning review of a trial court’s order allowing grandparent visitation:

Recent Tennessee caselaw provides that the standard of review for an appellate court reviewing a trial court’s visitation order, including one for grandparent visitation, is governed by the abuse of discretion standard, with the best interest of the children’s welfare given “paramount consideration.” See Huls v. Alford, No. M2008-00408-COA-R3-CV, 2008 WL 4682219 (Tenn. Ct. App. Oct. 22, 2008) (citing Smallwood v. Mann, 205 S.W.3d 358, 361 (Tenn. 2006)); Eldridge v. Eldridge, 42 S.W.3d 82, 85 (Tenn. 2001). A trial court abuses its discretion when it has applied an incorrect legal standard or has reached a decision which is against logic or reasoning that caused an injustice to the party complaining. Johnson v. Richardson, 337 S.W.3d 816, 819 (Tenn. Ct. App. 2010) (citing Eldridge, 42 S.W.3d at 85). We will not overturn the trial court’s decision merely because reasonable minds could reach a different conclusion. Eldridge, 42 S.W.3d at 85. Thus, the appellate court should “review a [trial] court’s discretionary decision to determine (1) whether the factual basis for the decision is properly supported by evidence in the record, (2) whether the [trial] court properly identified and applied the most appropriate legal principles applicable to the decision, and (3) whether the [trial] court’s decision was within the range of acceptable alternative dispositions.” Tomlin v. Baxter, No. M2014-01746-COA-R3-CV, 2015 WL 7749064, at *3 (Tenn. Ct. App. Nov. 30, 2015) (citing Lee Medical, Inc. v. Beecher, 312 S.W.3d 515, 524-25 (Tenn. 2010) (citations omitted)). In re Dayton R., No. W2015-01848-COA-R3-JV, 2016 WL 1403255, at *5 (Tenn. Ct. App. Apr. 7, 2016).


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