The Michigan Legislature has recognized the right of grandparents to visit their grandchildren under certain circumstances. In order for a grandparent to be entitled to visitation, the courts will look to the situation of the parties and determine if they fall into one of the following categories:
- There is a divorce or separate maintenance action finalized or pending;
- The parents are not living together and were not married at the time of the birth;
- A person other than the child’s parents has legal custody or the child does not live with either parent;
- A grandparent has taken care of a grandchild during the year before requesting visitation.
In all situations, the courts will seek to promote the mental, physical, and emotional health of the child. It is presumed that a “fit” parent’s denial of grandparent visitation is in the best interests of the child’s health, and the grandparent has the burden of proving that denial of visitation acts as a harm to the child’s mental, emotional, or physical health.
In awarding grandparent visitation, the courts look to a variety of factors, including such things as emotional ties and the length and quality of the relationship between the grandparent and child. It is important to work closely with an attorney who is well informed of the process for seeking visitation rights and the factors that courts will take into consideration.
Attorney Chatterton has over 20 years of significant experience in the area of family law and grandparent visitation rights. At the Law Office of Patrick L. Chatterton, we seek at all times to promote the child’s best interests. Schedule a consultation today, and let our legal experience defend the rights and interests of you and your family.