As a grandparent, you want the best for your grandchildren. It wasn’t long ago that grandparents had no rights in Michigan. The first rights were given to grandparents in regard to their grandchildren by the Child Custody Act of 1970. Although limited, this act allows grandparents at least an opportunity to spend some time with their grandchildren in the event of custody disputes. Further additional grandparents rights were added in the 1980’s however, the major changes to rights for grandparents came in the wake of Supreme Court case which ruled that grandparent’s visitation laws are constitutional and in 1982, Michigan amended the Child Custody Act of 1970 to expand the rights of grandparents within the state. Since then, further consideration has been given to grandparents in regard to their rights to see and spend time with their grandchildren.
When dealing with grandparent cases, issues such as visitation and even the right to adopt grandchildren are governed by MCL 722.27b of the Child Custody Act however, the court also plays a strong role in deciding if it is in the best interest of the child to have the grandparents present in their lives following divorce or separation. Generally speaking, as a grandparent, there are certain circumstances which will allow you to pursue rights to visit your grandchildren some of which include:
- If the parents of the child have filed for divorce or legal separation
- If the parents of the child are already legally separated or divorced
- If the grandchild’s parent, who is a child of the grandparents, has died
- If the parents are not together or have never been together and paternity has been established
The court will ultimately decide if you as a grandparent will be granted visitation based on a number of criteria including emotional ties already established between you and your grandchild, the relationship you have or have not had with your grandchild, mental and physical health of the grandparent as well as the preference of the child if old enough and how the visitation will impact the well-being of the child.
Grandparents are allowed some rights to visitation in Michigan. In addition, if you have concerns in regard to the well-being of your grandchild, there may be something you can do. Divorces, separations or deaths can lead to some grandparents losing touch with their grandchildren out of what they believe is obligation however, in many instances today, Michigan grandparents are actually provided rights to spend time with their grandchildren if it is in their best interest.
If you are a grandparent in Michigan and would like to learn more about what your rights are, The Law Offices of Daniel J. Harris, P.C. can help you. Dedicated to helping those who need it, Miranda Bailey is focused on the laws which impact you most including family law and issues surrounding visitation, custody as well as your rights as a grandparent in Michigan. If you are a grandparent and are facing visitation issues with regard to your grandchildren, you too may have rights. To find out more, you can contact us for your free consultation by calling us at 1. 231.347.4444 or fill out our free consultation form today.