Q: Can grandparents get visitation rights or be granted custody?If you're considering getting divorced in Michigan, and you have minor children, working out the physical and legal custody of the children can become contentious. At stake is not only how much physical time the child will live with each parent but also the degree of legal custody each parent will have. Legal custody is the right to make important decisions on behalf of the child such as deciding on their religious, educational, healthcare and other important matters. If the couple can't agree, the court will decide what's in the best interest of the children.
Grandparents' rights are also recognized in Michigan and grandparents who wish to maintain a relationship with their grandchildren can seek court-ordered grandparenting time. Such matters are considered on a case-by-case basis and the court does recognize and prioritize that “fit parents” have the right to decide not to allow their children to see a grandparent. But if grandparents can present evidence that denying them visitation rights with the grandchildren “creates a substantial risk of harm to the child's mental, physical or emotional health,” visitation rights may be awarded. A skilled grandparents' rights attorney can explain this complex area and how to proceed in each particular case.
What does the Michigan family court consider?When faced with child custody issues – through a divorce or not – the court will consider the rights of parents, sometimes grandparents, but most importantly what's in the best interest of the child. Sometimes, emergencies arise that impact child custody.
A couple recently reportedly lost custody of their three-year-old son who is battling cancer. The couple allegedly began chemotherapy but stopped after feeling it wasn't appropriate for their son and reportedly instead administered holistic alternative therapies like CBD oil, fresh foods and clean water and left the state to seek a second opinion in another state.
When the child did not return for chemotherapy, authorities reportedly issued an “endangered child alert” after which the family was tracked down in the other state, and returned to the home state in the custody of his maternal grandparents. The parents are reportedly fighting a legal battle over their right to seek alternative medical treatment for their son.
Contact Cameron C. Goulding Family Law and Mediation, PLC TodayIf you have questions regarding child custody, grandparents' rights, or any other family law matter, Cameron C. Goulding Family Law and Mediation, P.L.C. can help you. Contact us today to schedule a consultation.
From our office in Rochester, Michigan, we represent clients in matters of divorce and family law throughout Oakland, Livingston, Macomb, Lapeer, Genesee, and Wayne Counties.