If you have grandchildren, you know what a joy being a grandparent can be. After a divorce, grandparents may worry that they will not get to see their grandchildren as often as they did when the children’s parents were married. In some cases, a parent may outright refuse to let his or her children see their grandparents. This can be absolutely devastating for both the grandparents and the grandchildren. Fortunately, grandparents have certain rights under Michigan law that allow them to spend time with their grandchildren. However, these rights may be subject to certain restrictions and qualifying criteria.
How Can I Get Grandparenting Time?
Visitation with grandchildren, also called grandparenting time, is not automatically granted after a divorce. If your grandchildren’s parent(s) agrees to grandparenting time, you will have a much easier time pursuing visitation with the children. However, if the parents do not want you to see their children, you will have to convince the court that grandparent visitation is in the child’s or children’s best interest.
If the court finds the parents “fit” enough to make good decisions regarding who their children spend time with, it can be hard to get court-ordered grandparenting time over their objections. In order for a grandparent to be awarded visitation, they must show evidence that proves the benefit of them spending time with their grandchildren. If you want court-ordered grandparent visitation, you will need to prove that the denial of grandparent visitation rights would create a “substantial risk of harm to the child’s mental, physical or emotional health.” Michigan courts consider a variety of factors when deciding whether or not grandparent visitation is appropriate. These include but are not limited to:
- The love and emotional bonds between the grandparent and the grandchildren
- The preference of the grandchildren (if they are old enough to make this decision)
- The grandparents' moral fitness and mental and physical health
- The grandparents' willingness to foster a positive relationship between the child and the child’s parent(s)
Contact a Farmington Hills Family Law Attorney
If you are a grandparent who is not being allowed to see your grandchild, you may be completely at a loss about what to do. Fortunately, you do not have to face this situation alone. Reach out to the experienced Novi family law attorneys at Elkouri Heath PLC for help. We will explore your legal options together and then determine a course of action that gives you the best possible chances of being awarded grandparenting time. Call our office at 248-344-9700 today to schedule a free, confidential consultation.