A grandparent often has a special place in a child’s life. They might be the one who gives the child advice, takes care of them when their parents are away, or spoils them just a little bit. However, sometimes a parent’s death or the parents’ divorce can make it hard for grandparents to secure the valuable time they want with their grandchildren.
Grandparents in Minnesota can petition for visitation in certain situations, including:
When one parent has passed away
If one of a minor child’s parents dies, the parents and grandparents of the deceased parent can request visitation. As with many visitation and custody requests, the courts consider whether granting visitation would be in the best interests of the child.
When the child has lived with their grandparents
If a child has lived with their grandparents or great-grandparents for at least one year, and the child’s parent removes them from the home, the grandparents can petition for visitation rights.
When family court proceedings are involved
Grandparents may request reasonable visitation rights in situations where a child’s family is involved in family court proceedings. For example: If the child’s parents go through divorce proceedings, after the divorce is finalized, grandparents can petition for visitation. If an ongoing relationship is in the best interests of the child and will not interfere with the parent-child relationship, the court can grant the request.
Answers for grandparents
Visitation rights for grandparents can be complicated because they are an extension of their child’s parental rights. If a parent loses parental rights, their own parents will likely have a hard time obtaining grandparent visitation rights. Additionally, if a stepparent or another family adopts the child, grandparents may not be able to get visitation rights. Consulting with a family law attorney can help grandparents understand their options when it comes to securing time with their grandchildren.