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Do I have rights to my niece and nephew?

Hermitage, TN |

My sister has 2 children and they currently reside with their father. He does not let me see or speak to my niece and nephew. He has filed "termination of parental rights" against my sister, I am not sure if she will be able to get a lawyer to file an answer before the 30 day answer period is up, she has been in jail and he filed these papers before she got out.........I want to know how this will affect my relationship with the kids? Can I file something against him in order to get visitation with my niece and nephew? What if my sister's rights are terminated, does that mean I can never see them again? What should she do to stop this termination?

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Filed under: Estates Trusts
Attorney answers 1


You need to see a TN attorney who does family law for a certain answer. I can say, in California, Aunts and Uncles and Grandparents have few rights. Grandparents are starting to lobby for protections but the law favors the parents over everyone else usually. It is in your best interests to try to work out a relationship with your brother-in-law for the kids' sake. Talk to him and assure him that you want the relationship with them and want to stay in their lives and that you will not be letting your Sister be there for the visits and then DO that. If there is a reason for him to be able to terminate her parental rights, it does not make them no longer related to you. Walk gently in dealing with him and assure him you are not your sister. If you have to do your visits at his house, fine do so and build up trust and comfort because, at least in CA, you have few rights to assert so you want to compromise and work to a solution for the kids. If he is going to cut you out entirely for whatever reason, be hopeful that when they are old enough, they will contact you. You can write and send cards and hope they are given them as a way to keep your role in their lives fresh in their memories. Keep trying

If you liked this answer, click on the thumbs up! Thanks. Eliz. C. A. Johnson Post Office Box 8 Danville, California 94526-0008 Legal disclaimer: I do not practice law in any state but California. As such, any responses to posted inquiries, such as the one above, are limited to a general understanding of law in California and not to any other jurisdiction. In addition, no response to any posted inquiry should be deemed to constitute legal advice, nor to constitute the existence of an attorney/client or other contractual or fiduciary relationship, inasmuch as legal advice can only be provided in circumstances in which the attorney is able to ask questions of the person seeking legal advice and to thus gather appropriate information.