Are you a grandparent with a beloved grandchild?
Are you also experiencing a bit of tension within the family, making it difficult for you to gain access to your grandchild(ren) on a regular basis? If so, the following may provide a bit of guidance if you are interested in pursuing legal visitation rights to that grandchild – and we are here to help!
Under Section 722.27(b) of the Michigan Compiled Laws, a child's grandparent may have access to what is known as “grandparent time,” which is essentially the right to visitation with the grandchild provided certain conditions exist. First, a grandparent may seek visitation if there is a current action for annulment, divorce or separation of the child's parents pending before the court. In this scenario, the grandparent may essentially intervene in the ongoing litigation in order to request grandparent time as part of the court's final divorce order. The statute also allows a grandparent to request visitation time if the divorce or annulment is already finalized.
Secondly, a grandparent may petition for grandparent time if the grandparent's child – who is a parent of the grandchild – has passed away.
Thirdly, a grandparent may petition for visitation if (1) the child's parents have never been married to one another AND paternity is already established between the child and the father. If a grandparent (parent of the father) is seeking visitation rights and paternity has not been established (and the parents were never married), a paternity action may need to be commenced first. Further, if the child is under the custody of a non-parent third-party, a grandparent may petition for visitation rights as well.
Lastly, a grandparent has standing to initiate a visitation action if, in the year preceding the request for visitation, the grandparent served in a custodial role of the child – notwithstanding a subsequent award of custody to the child's parents.
In the next post, we will explore the factors and legal requirements necessary to obtain an award of grandparent visitation in Michigan.
To discuss your family law issue, please contact our office today!
We are proud to serve as family law advocates in the state of Michigan, and encourage you to contact us today: 248.608.4123.