Parents are not the only ones who are affected by a divorce in Michigan; grandparents too may be affected, sometimes losing the ability to see their grandchild as much as they were previously used to, or the right to see their grandchild at all. For grandparents who wish to continue having a relationship with their grandchild, even after a divorce of the child’s parents, it is important to work with a Michigan child custody and grandparents’ rights lawyer.
Can I Seek Visitation Rights with My Grandchild?
If you want visitation rights with your grandchild, you can petition the court for these rights in the following situations:
- The child’s parents are divorced or separated;
- One of the child’s parents has died;
- The child is no longer living within a parent’s home;
- The parents do not live together; or
- You have cared for the child in a custodial environment in the past for a time frame of at least 12 months.
If you want visitation with your grandchild and your circumstance does not fit one of the descriptions above, please contact our law offices for a consultation where we can assess your situation and answer your questions.
Do I Have to Go to Court In order to Get Visitation Rights with My Grandchild?
In the majority of cases, a child’s parents want the child to have a healthy relationship with their grandparents, and therefore visitation can be worked out with parents outside of court. When relationships between parents and grandparents are strained, or in the event that special circumstances exist (such as the death of both parents), going to court to get visitation or custody of a grandchild may be necessary. If you have to go to court, the court will make a determination about whether or not you should be allowed time with your grandchild, and if so, how much time. This determination is based on a number of factors, including your relationship with the child, your mental and physical health, whether or not the child is old and mature enough to express a preference and what that preference is, any instances of abuse or neglect committed by the grandparent in regards to the child, and the overall best interests of the child.
As a Grandparent in Michigan, You Have Rights
At the Iafrate & Salassa, P.C., we know how emotional a divorce can be for all family members, grandparents included. If you want custody (in extenuating circumstances) or visitation rights with your grandchild, we can help you to understand Michigan’s law and what the best steps are to take moving forward. We have helped many grandparents and loved ones obtain a visitation order in the past, and will advocate for you throughout the entire process.
If you have more questions about your rights as a grandparent, please call our law offices today to schedule a consultation.