Michigan grandparents have certain rights to visitation with their grandchildren. If you’re a parent or grandparent, it’s important to understand these laws.
What are your rights as a grandparent who wants visitation?
Grandparents in Michigan can request grandparenting time with their grandchild through the court when certain situations are in place. This is possible when the child’s parents have legally separated, filed for divorce, gone through a divorce or had an annulment. If one of the child’s parents has died and that parent was the child of the grandparents, those grandparents can request visitation.
Other situations that allow grandparents to request visitation with their grandchild include the parents not being married or living together. Grandparents can request visitation if someone other than the child’s parent has legal custody of the child or the child was removed from a parent’s home. The grandparent can also get visitation if they gave the child a custodial environment for at least a year prior to the request.
How can grandparents get visitation?
Often, grandparents are able to get visitation with their grandchild when they talk to the parent or guardian and work out an arrangement on a grandparenting schedule. If such an agreement cannot be reached, the grandparents can request an order from the court to grant them visitation. Grandparents must file a motion with the family court in the county that has jurisdiction.
A motion or complaint can also be filed in the circuit court in the county where the child lives. It should include an affidavit that swears to all the facts surrounding the request for visitation with a grandchild. The judge might schedule a hearing so that all parties can be heard before a decision is made.
In most cases, the court will decide on what’s in the best interests of the child. If the judge believes that the child would benefit from having a relationship and spending time with their grandparents, the visitation is often granted.