When Can Grandparents Obtain Visitation Rights in Minnesota?

On Behalf of | Aug 22, 2023 | Family Law

There is a popular saying that it takes a village to raise a child. No parent can truly manage every responsibility on their own, and they often rely on the community around them to close the gaps between what their children need and what they can personally manage. Grandparents are often called to fill those gaps and frequently play a key role in the lives of children and young adults. They may provide childcare services and financial support. They may even allow their child and grandchildren to live with them. Grandparents can be a crucial source of education and emotional support for their grandkids.

Sadly, sometimes loving and involved grandparents find themselves unable to meet or communicate with their grandchildren. However, Minnesota does allow grandparents in certain circumstances to seek visitation rights with their grandkids.

So, when is grandparent visitation a potential option?

The relationship and the circumstances must meet specific criteria

Generally, grandparents hoping to seek visitation rights will need to have a pre-existing relationship with their grandchildren. Evidence of holidays spent together or even shared living arrangements can help grandparents validate their claims that they have played an important role in the life of their grandchildren and that ongoing interactions are in the best interests of their grandchildren. Twelve months of cohabitation can justify seeking visitation in any situation.

Beyond that, family circumstances must certain standards that relate to changes in the family unit The divorce or separation of the parents is one reason why grandparents from either side of the family might find themselves unable to meet with their grandkids. State involvement, possibly culminating in the termination of someone’s parental rights, could also lead to grandparent visitation hearings. Additionally, the state will consider grandparent visitation requests related to stepparent adoptions or the death of one parent.

A strong support network is usually best for children

Grandparents often worry about rocking the boat and worsening the relationship that they have with their own children or former son/daughter-in-law by taking the matter to court. However, if a parent has put their own personal issues with the grandparents ahead of what is best for the children, then the grandparents may need to step up and do what is right for the children.

Pursuing grandparent visitation can be stressful, but it can also provide a crucial form of support for children who have already been through a difficult family transition. Grandparents who are interested in learning more can seek legal guidance at any time by calling attorney Dave Meier.