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Protecting The Role Of Grandparents

Grandparents are often afterthoughts in custody and divorce discussions. But, if you are an active part of your grandchild's life, there is a good reason to stay involved. No child was ever hurt by having another positive, stable adult in their life.

Pinnacle Family Law headquartered in Novi, Michigan, has experience getting visitation and grandparenting time for families across Michigan. Our attorney, Jennifer M. Paine, can help you bring a case for grandparent visitation and keep your grandchild in your life.

There Is A Legal Basis For Grandparents' Rights

Under the Michigan grandparenting time statute, MCL 722.27b, a grandparent may seek grandparenting time if:


(a) an action for divorce, separate maintenance or annulment involving the child's parents is pending before the court

(b) the child's parents are divorced or separated under a judgment of separate maintenance, or have had their marriage annulled

(c) the child's parent who is a child of the grandparents is deceased

(d) the child's parents have never been married, they are not residing in the same household, and paternity has been established

(e) legal custody of the child has been given to a person other than the child's parent or the child is placed outside of and does not reside in the home of a parent

(f) in the year preceding the commencement of the action for grandparenting time, the grandparent provided an established custodial environment for the child, whether or not the grandparent had custody under a court order


The statute creates a presumption that a fit parent's decision to deny grandparenting time does not create a substantial risk of harm to the child's mental, physical or emotional health. Guardians and custodians are not afforded this presumption as the statute specifically uses the term parent. Book-Gilbert v Greenleaf, 302 Mich App 538, 547, 840 NW2d 743 (2013) ("permitting guardians or custodians to derive the benefit of the fit-parent presumption would require us to rewrite the statute").

To rebut the presumption, a grandparent must prove by a preponderance of the evidence that the parent's decision to deny grandparenting time creates a substantial risk of harm to the child's mental, physical or emotional health. If the grandparent does not overcome the presumption, the court will dismiss the action. MCL 722.27b(4)(b). The court may also dismiss the action if two fit parents sign an affidavit stating that they both oppose an order for grandparenting time. MCL 722.27b(5).

Are You Looking For A Professional Lawyer?

When you walk into our office, you are in good hands. Our firm focuses exclusively on family law matters. We understand that your family values include positive familial relationships. We want to help you build and protect them. Email our firm or feel free to give us a call at 248-305-6484.

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