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How do grandparents' rights work?

After your adult child divorces, depending on how custody judgments fall in Michigan courts you may fear never seeing your grandchildren again - especially if the custodial parent is not your child, and decides to move away. What are your rights as a grandparent? Can you legally mandate visitation time with your grandchildren?

Per Michigan legislature, you can under multiple conditions - sometimes even if your child was never married to the other parent of your grandchildren, as long as parentage is legally established and acknowledged. Generally, though, situations involving grandparents' rights usually involve seeking the right to see your grandchildren when your child does not have custody and your child's former spouse may attempt to deny you time spent with your grandchildren. You have the right to petition for court-granted visitation time.

Even if your grandchild has been remanded into the custody of someone outside the family, you may seek to obtain visitation rights. However, you may face obstacles to obtaining rights in various specific situations, such as if both parents sign an affidavit denying rights and both parents are considered fit and sound of mind. The courts may also determine if grandparenting time is within the child's or children's best interests. If the courts determine that visitation time may actually negatively impact the child or children, you may find your visitation rights contested or denied.

This has been an informational blog post that should not be used as a substitute for qualified legal advice and is not actionable in court.

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Lorrie J. Zahodnic

"I will hold you up until you can stand on your own two feet."

Lorrie J. Zahodnic, P.C. has provided skilled and compassionate legal guidance to Michiganders in family law matters for over 20 years.

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