A child’s relationship with his or her grandparents can often contribute to their positive growth and development. In Michigan, grandparents may be able to petition the court for visitation with their grandchild.
A child’s grandparent may seek visitation when the child’s parents are divorced or separated, the child’s parents are deceased, the child’s parents are not married but paternity has been established or in other circumstances. However, in most situations the child’s parents will have an opportunity to contest the request for visitation.
The court will review whether the grandparenting time is in the best interest of the child and will consider several factors in makings its decision.
Factors considered by the court
These factors include the love, affection and emotional ties between the grandparent and the child, the length and quality of the prior relationship between the grandparent and the child, the role performed by the grandparent, the grandparent’s moral fitness, the grandparent’s mental and physical health, the child’s reasonable preference if he or she is old enough to express a preference, any history of abuse by the grandparent and any other relevant factors.
The grandparent cannot file a petition for visitation more than once every two years unless there is good cause. The court will not generally modify or terminate the grandparenting time unless it finds that there is a change in circumstances that would create a risk of harm to the child.
If grandparents in Michigan are interested in pursuing grandparents’ rights, there is guidance available to help them.