Labre Law Office | Family Law & Criminal Defense Lawyer | Edwardsburg, MI

Grandparenting Time

Our Grandparenting Time Attorney Team at LaBre Law Office Will Represent You While Pursuing and Enforcing a Grandparenting Time Order in Michigan or Indiana.

As a Grandparent in Michigan, You May Have Legal Standing To Seek Routine Grandparenting Time With Your Grandchildren

Have you been denied reasonable time to interact with your grandchild due to family circumstances? Grandparenting time refers to the legally-allotted time grandparents can spend with their grandchildren, based on a court order. The purpose of grandparenting time is to preserve and foster the relationship between grandparents and grandchildren, which can be an important source of love, support, and continuity for children. An experienced grandparenting time attorney helps you safeguard this cherished time to strengthen the bond between grandparents and grandchildren.

Grandparenting time becomes particularly significant in situations where familial structures have been disrupted – such as divorce, separation, or death of a parent. In these circumstances, it may be necessary to legally specify and enforce grandparenting time to ensure the maintenance of the  relationship.

When grandparents are denied time with their grandchildren, it can lead them to experience feelings of loss, sadness, and frustration. For the grandchildren, being denied access to their grandparents can lead to confusion, grief, and a lifelong sense of missing out on the unique affection and wisdom that grandparents offer.

In contrast, when grandparents and grandchildren can spend quality time together, both parties benefit significantly. For the child, this relationship can provide a sense of stability, emotional support, and often, a link to their family history. For grandparents, this connection can bring joy, fulfillment, and a sense of purpose.

Navigating grandparenting time within the court system or through family law proceedings can be challenging. It can be a source of stress and conflict, especially if the child’s parents oppose the involvement of the grandparents.

In these situations, grandparents may need to petition the court to grant them visitation rights. This process involves demonstrating to the court that spending time with the grandchild is in the child’s interest. It’s also critical to demonstrate the establishment of grandparent-grandchild relationship and the potential harm a child could suffer if this relationship were to be interrupted.

While these situations can be emotionally charged, the ultimate goal should always be the well-being and happiness of the child. Clear communication, patience, and understanding are key to navigating these complex issues.

At LaBre Law Office, you have an experienced grandparenting time lawyer team who understands the nuances of grandparent rights in Michigan. We guide grandparents through the legal proceedings, advocate for their rights, and help find a resolution that serves the interests of the child. Call today to schedule a consultation.

Circumstances and Scenarios Under Which To Seek a Grandparenting Time Order

Legal circumstances under which grandparents may seek a grandparenting order in Michigan may include any of the following:

  • Divorce, Separation or Annulment: If the child’s parents are divorced, separated under a judgment of separate maintenance, or have had their marriage annulled, this change in the family structure can provide grounds for a grandparent to seek visitation rights.
  • Parent’s Death: If a biological parent of the child is deceased, the parents of that individual may seek a grandparenting order. This allows the child to maintain a connection with the deceased parent’s side of the family.
  • Child’s Birth Out of Wedlock: In instances where the child’s parents were not married when the child was born and paternity has been legally established, the paternal grandparents may seek a grandparenting order. However, if the parents marry after the child’s birth, this right no longer applies unless the parents later divorce or separate.
  • Child Custody Dispute: During a contentious custody dispute, a grandparent may petition the court for visitation rights. This is especially relevant in cases where the grandparent had a pre-existing close relationship with the child.
  • Child Residing with Grandparent(s): Grandparent(s) may seek an order to establish visitation rights if the child has resided with the grandparent(s) for at least one year and is subsequently removed from the home by the parents.

The court will consider the interests of the child when deciding on grandparent visitation in any of these scenarios. Factors such as the emotional ties between the grandparent and child, the grandparent’s mental and physical health, and the potential impact on the child’s well-being are all considered in the court’s decision.

Seeking a Grandparenting Time Order Under Model Guidelines

If you have been denied an opportunity to spend time with your grandchild under any of the scenarios we have described, you may be seeking guidance regarding how to file for grandparents’ rights. To pursue a grandparenting time order, a grandparent must file a motion with the court. The court will then follow model guidelines to determine whether grandparenting time is in the interest of the child.

In practical terms, here’s what grandparents need to know:

  • Interests of the Child: The court makes its decision based on the interests of the child. This includes evaluating the emotional ties between the child and the grandparent, the grandparent’s health, the child’s reasonable preference, and any impact on the child.
  • Existing Parental Arrangements: If the child’s parents have custody, are living together, and are both opposed to grandparenting time, the court will not grant a grandparenting time order.
  • Pre-existing Relationship: It’s generally helpful if the grandparent can demonstrate a substantial pre-existing relationship with the child.
  • Legal Support: Navigating this process can be complex. Having an experienced grandparent visitation rights attorney on your side can ensure you understand your rights and the process while helping to present your case in the right light.

The Process to Seek Grandparenting Time Through The Court in Michigan

The Child Custody Act (CCA) provides the legal framework for determining issues related to child custody, parenting time, and grandparenting time in Michigan. Specifically, Section 722.27b of the CCA pertains to grandparenting time.

The following are the steps to seek grandparenting time through the court in Michigan under the guidelines of The Child Custody Act:

The Grandparent’s Process to Seek Grandparenting Time

  1. Identify Eligibility: The first step is to determine whether you’re eligible to seek grandparenting time. This generally applies if the parents are divorced, separated, or if one or both parents are deceased. It can also apply if the child was born out of wedlock, or if the child had been residing with the grandparent.
  2. File a Motion: If you’re eligible, you’ll need to file a motion for grandparenting time with the court. This motion should detail why granting this order would be in the interest of the child.
  3. Prepare for Hearing: After filing the motion, you and your attorney will need to prepare your case for the hearing. You can support your case by gathering evidence that demonstrates your relationship with the grandchild, emphasizing how maintaining this relationship will benefit them.

The Court’s Process for a Grandparenting Time Request

  1. Preliminary Review: The court will review the motion and any accompanying documentation. It will not proceed further if the child’s parents have custody, are living together, and jointly oppose grandparenting time.
  2. Hearing: If the parents don’t jointly oppose grandparenting time, a hearing will be scheduled. All interested parties can present their arguments and any relevant evidence during the hearing.
  3. Evaluation: The court will evaluate whether grandparenting time serves the interests of the child. They consider factors such as the length and quality of the prior relationship between the child and the grandparent, as well as the love, affection, and emotional ties existing between the grandparent and the child.
  4. Decision: After evaluating all the information, the court will make a decision. If they determine it is in the child’s interests, they will issue an order granting grandparenting time. This order will specify the frequency, duration, and type of grandparenting time.

Our experienced grandparenting time attorneys can guide you and represent you throughout the process if you seek to apply for grandparents’ rights, helping you present your case effectively and advocating for your rights as a grandparent.

Your Right To Grandparenting Time May Be Terminated If Your Grandchild is Adopted or Placed for Adoption

Under Michigan law, if your grandchild is adopted by someone other than a stepparent, your legal right to grandparenting time is typically terminated. This is because adoption generally severs the legal relationship between the child and the biological family — including grandparents — to establish a new legal family for the child.

The rationale behind this is to allow the child and their adoptive family to develop their own relationships and bonds without potential interference or conflict from the biological family. It also provides a level of stability and permanence for the child in their new family setting.

However, there are exceptions. For instance, if the child is adopted by a stepparent or another grandparent, grandparenting time is not automatically terminated. This is because the child is still considered to be part of their original family.

If your grandchild has been placed for adoption or adopted and you wish to seek grandparenting time, it’s crucial to consult with an experienced grandparenting time attorney to guide you through the process and help you understand your options based on the specifics of your situation.

One possible course of action could be to intervene during the adoption proceedings, though the success of such an intervention would depend heavily on the individual circumstances. Another option could be to attempt to negotiate visitation directly with the adoptive parents, but any agreement reached would not have the same enforceability as a court-ordered grandparenting time.

These are complex matters that often involve high emotions. With competent legal advice, you can make informed decisions about how to proceed. If you are facing this situation, you should immediately contact a Michigan grandparenting time lawyer to plan your next steps.

Contact LaBre Law Office to Discuss Your Grandparenting Time Case and Begin Planning Your Legal Strategy

The bond connecting a grandparent and a grandchild can be beneficial to everyone involved, especially during times of family upheaval. Circumstances involving family disagreements or divorce can make these cherished relationships difficult to maintain, but our grandparenting time legal team at LaBre Law Office can help and guide you. We serve clients throughout the “Michiana” area, as we are licensed on both sides of the Michigan-Indiana border.

Contact LaBre Law Office today to schedule a consultation. We will discuss the unique details of your grandparenting time issue and begin outlining a legal strategy to pursue a grandparenting time order.

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