My Legal | Grandparents

This article and other legal blogs have been shared by the attorneys of Willingham & Cote PC law firm.

If your son or daughter going through a divorce or separation, as a parent, you are probably trying to help your child through a very emotional experience.  At the same time, you are wondering how that divorce will impact your extended family.  You may wonder how holidays, vacations, or other family traditions may change as a result of your child’s divorce or separation.  Worse yet, you may be wondering how the division will impact your time with your grandchildren.

Michigan is a state that prefers to allow the parents to make every day decisions in regard to how much time a grandchild spends with his or her grandparent.  But there are laws that allow for court ordered grandparenting time in certain situations.  Here are six of them.  Grandparenting time may be requested:  (1) if there is an action pending before the court between the grandchild’s parents for a divorce, separation or annulment; (2) if the parents are officially divorced or separated pursuant to a judgment; (3) if one of the parents is deceased; (4) if the parents were never married and do not live together; (5) if legal custody of the child is with a person other than a parent or the child does not reside in the home of a parent; or (6) in the year before the action was filed for grandparenting time, the grandparent provided an established custodial environment for the grandchild.

The grandparent will have to show that there is a substantial risk of harm to the child’s mental, physical or emotional health if grandparenting time is denied.  There is no fundamental right to grandparenting time; and unfortunately, not every circumstance allows for the courts to award grandparenting time.  The state presumes that the parties involved will work together toward what is in the best interest of minor children including the allowance of grandparenting time.


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