When Can A Grandparent Seek Child Visitation Rights in Michigan?

Be nice to your mother-in-law. Pursuant to Michigan Law [MCL 722.27b], in certain circumtances, grandparents may ask the court for visitation rights. Michigan Courts may allow a grandparent to seek parenting time if one of the following circumstances applies:

  • an action for divorce, separate maintenance, or annulment involving the child’s parents is pending before the court
  • the child’s parents are divorced, separated under a judgment of separate maintenance, or have had their marriage annulled
  • the child’s parent who is a child of the grandparents is deceased
  • the child’s parents have never been married, they are not residing in the same household, and paternity has been established
  • legal custody of the child has been given to a person other than the child’s parent or the child is placed outside of and does not reside in the home of a parent
  • the grandparent provided an established custodial environment for the child, whether or not the grandparent had custody under a court order, in the year preceding the commencement of the action for grandparenting time.

Furthermore, the grandparent seeking visitation rights must overcome a presumption that a fit parent’s decisions denying grandparenting time does not create a substantial risk of harm to a child’s mental, physical, or emotional health. To rebut the presumption, the grandparent must prove by a preponderance of the evidence that the parent’s decision to deny grandparenting time creates a substantial risk of harm to the child’s mental, physical, or emotional health. If the grandparent does not overcome the presumption, the court must dismiss the action pursuant to MCL 722.27b(4)(b)

Note that all decisions on child custody and vistation still look to the the ‘Best Interest Factors’ to decide whether an Order is in the child’s best interest. If you are seeking visitation rights, contact Diana Mohy Attorney at Law to provide you reliable counsel on the matter.

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