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Do grandparents have visitation rights?

In many families, grandparents play a role in children's lives that is very similar to the parents. A close relationship with grandparents can be a very good thing for children. However, there are sometimes things that occur that push grandparents out of children's lives. If this has happened to you, you may wonder if Michigan provides any rights to grandparents in regards to grandchildren.

According to the Michigan Legislature, grandparents' rights are limited by the circumstances. In a situation where there are two biological parents that are alive and in the child's life, you would have to have their permission in most cases to get any rights to see your grandchildren. Even then, there must be specific circumstances, such as the parents are divorced or separated, have never been married and do not live together or if your grandchild lived with you within the previous year. If your son has passed away, you may have more difficulty. Paternity must have been established and your son must have been in the child's life and providing support for that child.

If you petition the court for visitation rights, the court will then have to look into the evidence. It will look for both parents to approve the motion. If one parent approves and the other does not, the court may still grant visitation if it will be beneficial to the child. However, if both parents deny the motion, then it will most likely be denied. It could also be denied if the court believes visitation will cause any harm to the child, whether emotional, physical or mental. This information is for education and is not legal advice.

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