Sheehan & Associates, P.L.C.

Can grandparents apply for visitation in Michigan?

The Child Custody Act of 1970 is important for several reasons. To understand how your custody case is going to be handled, you need to understand the laws that surround it and how they apply in Michigan. The Act has information in it like how to seek grandparenting time, how to acknowledge paternity or parentage and what determines the best interests of a child.

For instance, the Act states that a child's grandparent is allowed to seek out ordered grandparenting time if there is an order for divorce between the child's parents pending in the court. Why is this important? It makes sure that grandparents, who sometimes may be overlooked in these cases, still get to see their grandchildren and participate in their lives, even if the parents are in a volatile situation.

If one of the parents of the child is deceased, some grandparents may feel they aren't able to see their grandchild due to a lack of a relationship with the other parent. That also is not the case, and the law does provide for the rights of a grandparent in that situation.

The only ways the grandparenting order can be denied is if both fit parents sign an affidavit rejecting the order. The judge in the case may also determine that it's not in the best interests of a child to stay in a relationship with a grandparent for many reasons, whether it's based on a history of abuse, parents and grandparents not getting along or other concerns. If seeing a grandparent is in the best interests of a child, the court is likely to grant that request.

Source: Michigan Legislature, "Child Custody Act of 1970 (Excerpt)," accessed May 23, 2016

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