If you are a grandparent you may wonder what rights you have to visit with your grandchildren. A grandparent does have a right to seek visitation with their grandchildren if:
- the grandparent’s son or daughter is deceased;
- a dissolution, custody, legal separation, annulment or determination of paternity is commenced by one of the parents;
- the child has resided with the grandparent for a period of twelve months or more and is subsequently removed from the home by the child’s parents; or
- a step-parent adopts the child and either the grandparent’s child is deceased or the grandparent’s child’s rights have been terminated pursuant to the step-parent adoption.
In these circumstances, grandparents and even great-grandparents do have a right to seek reasonable visitation with the child under Minnesota law. However, before the court may award grandparent visitation they must find that the visitation rights would be in the best interest of the child and, by clear and convincing evidence, would not interfere with the parent/child relationship.
In deciding if the grandparent visitation rights are in the best interest of the child, courts must consider the amount of personal contact between the parents or grandparents of the child and the child prior to the application for grandparent visitation rights. The more frequent the prior contact, the more likely the courts are to find that continued contact is in the child’s best interest. Another common argument that continued contact is in the child’s best interest is that it furthers the child’s interest in maintaining or establishing connections with that side of the family.
Because of the fact-specific nature of grandparent visit cases and the somewhat difficult legal standard, it is important to have experienced attorneys on your side. At Tentinger Law Firm, we offer more than two decades of experience in family law issues, including grandparent rights. We can also help you if the grandparent of your child is trying to seek grandparent rights and you do not believe this is appropriate. To speak with an experienced grandparent rights attorney, contact Tentinger Law Firm at 952-953-3330 or use our quick contact form.