Law Offices of Daniel J. Andoni

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Daniel J. Andoni

Attorney at Law

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 Michigan grandparents have legally defined rights to visit their grandchildren in certain situations. If you have been prevented from visiting your grandchild in Michigan, you may have been deprived of your legal rights.

 Under Michigan law, grandparents do not always have the right to visit their grandchildren. However, the court may grant a grandparent a “reasonable right” to visit a child, if a parent of the child:

 • Is deceased;

 • Is divorced or separated from the parent who has custody of the child;

 • Has never been legally married to the other parent of the child, but cohabited with the other parent and is deceased or separated from the parent; or

 • Has relinquished his or her parental rights or his or her parental rights have been terminated.

 If a parent of a child denies or unreasonably restricts visits with the child, there is a presumption under Michigan law that grandparent visitation will not be in the best of the child.

However, the grandparent may rebut this presumption against granting visitation rights by proving in court by clear and convincing evidence that it is in the best interests of the child to grant visitation.

 In order to determine whether the grandparent seeking visitation has successfully rebutted the presumption that visitation rights are not in the best interest of the child, a Michigan court will consider the following factors:

 • The love, affection, and other emotional ties that exist between the party seeking visitation and the child.

 • The prior relationship between the child and the party seeking visitation, including whether the child resided with the party seeking visitation and whether the child was included in holidays and family gathering with the party seeking visitation.

 • The moral fitness of the party seeking visitation.

 • The mental and physical health of the party seeking visitation.

 • The reasonable preference of the child.

 • The willingness and ability of the party seeking visitation to facilitate and encourage a continuing relationship between the child and the parents of the child as well as with other relatives.

 • The medical and other needs of the child related to health as affected by the visitation.

 • The support provided by the party seeking visitation, including financial support provided for the support of the child.

 • The capacity and disposition of the party seeking visitation to:

 • Give the child love, affection and guidance and serve as a role model to the child;

 • Cooperate in providing the child with food, clothing, and other material needs during visitation; and

 • Cooperate in providing the child with health care.

 • Other factors the court deems relevant.

 If you have been unreasonably denied the right to visit your grandchildren, know that rebutting the presumption that granting such visitation rights would not be in the best interest of the child is a difficult, fact-specific inquiry. Every case and every familial relationship is different, and your circumstances might not squarely fit the court's process for determining the best interests of the child..

GRAND PARENTING TIME