February 24, 2017

Can grandparents be awarded parenting time?

Parents are not the only important people in a child’s life. Grandparents can play essential roles when it comes acting as a role model for children while they are growing up. Grandparents may, however, receive the short end of the stick when it comes to being able to visit their grandchildren once a divorce is finalized.

According to Michigan legislation, there are certain factors that a judge will consider when determining whether a child should have regular visiting time with a grandparent. These factors include the following:

  •          The physical and mental health of the grandparent.
  •          The grandparent’s moral fitness and how this will affect the child.
  •          Whether hostility traded between the grandparent and parent has an effect on the child.
  •          How much time the child spent with the grandparent prior to the divorce.
  •          The degree of emotional ties that exist between the child and grandparent.

The judge appointed to the case often considers whether there is a history of mental and/or physical abuse between the grandparent and child, as well as any other factors that affect the emotional well-being of the child. Laws state, that while grandparents may be given regular visitation rights, they do not have parental rights, and cannot make crucial decisions regarding the child’s medical treatment, education, child care or other choices reserved for parents.

After the case is carefully evaluated, the grandparent may be awarded time to interact with their grandchildren on a regular basis and continue to develop that important relationship.

This information is intended to educate and should not be taken as legal advice.