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When Michigan Grandparents Can Petition the Court for Visitation Rights

As a grandparent, you love your grandchild fiercely. You want to maintain a close relationship with your grandchild, even if the child’s parents do not want you to have regular visits. If you can’t reach an agreement with your grandchild’s parent or guardian, you may seek the help of a Michigan family law attorney.

When Michigan Courts May Grant Grandparent Visitation

Grandparents do not have the same rights as parents, and Michigan courts will not always grant grandparent visitation rights. However, grandparent visitation is possible if:

  • A grandparent has the consent of the parents during or after a divorce.
  • The child’s parents never married or lived together, but paternity was established and the father pays child support.
  • Someone other than the child’s biological or adoptive parent has legal custody of the child.
  • The grandparent had custody of the child within the last year.
  • The child of the grandparent (who is the parent of the child) is deceased.


If one of these situations exists, you will need to prove that your grandchild will suffer mental, physical, or emotional harm if they don’t spend time with you. There is a legal presumption that the parent’s decision to deny visitation does not create a substantial risk of harm to the grandchild’s health. You will need to overcome that presumption.

You must also prove it is in your grandchild’s best interests to spend time with you. The court will consider things such as:

  • The emotional connection between you and the grandchild
  • The quality of your relationship with the grandchild
  • Your moral fitness
  • Your health
  • The child’s preferences
  • How any hostility between you and the child’s parent may impact the grandchild
  • Whether you are willing to encourage a close relationship between the child and the child’s parents
  • Any history of abuse
  • Why the parent is denying you grandparenting time

Don’t Delay Contacting a Michigan Family Law Attorney

Your relationship with your grandchild is worth protecting. Contact our experienced Bloomfield Hills family law attorneys today to learn more about your rights and how we may be able to help you enjoy many more years of a close relationship with your grandchild.

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