WHAT ARE THE RIGHTS OF GRANDPARENTS IN MICHIGAN?

Michigan has a “grand-parenting time” statute which allows a grandparent to file a petition asking the court to order that the grandparent be entitled to spend time with his/her grandchildren. There are several grounds under which a grandparent may seek time with a grandchild, but the most common is when the grandparent’s own child is deceased.

The law creates a presumption that a “fit parent’s” decision to deny grand-parenting time does not create a substantial risk of harm to the child’s mental, physical, or emotional health. If the grandparent cannot provide that there will be a substantial risk of harm to the grandchildren if time is denied, the law requires that the petition be dismissed. Thus, even if a grandparent satisfies one of the basic grounds under which a petition may be filed, the law gives great deference to the decisions of the parent or parents to deny time.

There may be some other ways to ensure that a grandparent may spend time with his/her grandchildren, but under very limited circumstances. If you have questions as a grandparent, you may wish to seek the advice of an attorney who can listen to all of the facts and provide you with guidance on whether there are any available means of accomplishing your goals.