Michigan does not grant grandparents as many custody and visitation rights as the legal parent, though it definitely still is possible to see the child. It is assumed in Michigan that the legal parent is mentally healthy enough to decide whether or not the child should be able to see their grandparents and that it will not impact the child in a negative manner. However, it is possible to fight this in a court of law.
Are Both Legal Parents Unfit?
If both legal parents are unfit to look after the child, then the grandparents are much more likely to win a custody case. If the parents cannot be proven to be unfit, the parents will remain in custody of the child and they will be able to decide if the grandparents can visit the child or not. It is important to keep in mind the child’s welfare and their wishes when investigating whether their parents are unfit, as they’re the number one priority.
What Is In The Child’s Best Interest?
The child’s mental, emotional, and physical wellbeing should all be taken into account in all scenarios before beginning any legal cases regarding the child. In an ideal world, what would this child’s caregiver be like? Who currently fits those qualities best?
Does The Grandparent Have a Relationship with the Child?
For the court to grant grandparents visitation or custody rights, they would ask if a previous relationship has been established. This is important for the child’s well-being too, as putting them with somebody they have never met before could cause emotional trauma. It is not impossible to be granted these rights if you do not know your grandchild, but it helps the overall situation if the relationship is already there.
Visitation Rights in a Divorce
If the legal parents of the child have divorced or legally separated, the grandparents are afforded certain rights by the court, named “grandparenting rights” so that the child can spend time with their grandparents regardless of their parental disagreements.
Whilst the law is not in a grandparents favor when it comes to custody and visitation rights in Michigan, there are many options available. A strong family lawyer can assess the situation, help provide information and fight a case if necessary, so that the child’s welfare is always priority number one. Contact Sarnacki Law Firm in Grand Rapids today to discuss your options.