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What Are Grandparents’ Rights?

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Grandparents’ rights is a term used in family law to refer to court orders that ensure that grandparents are able to continue to maintain a relationship with their grandchildren after divorce. It’s often used to refer specifically to court-ordered visitation for the grandparents — much like noncustodial parents have a visitation schedule with their children.

If you’re a grandparent who is not able to see their grandchildren because of divorce or other family issues, it may be possible to petition the courts for visitation. Contact our law office to speak with an attorney about your options.

How Does Minnesota Handle Grandparents’ Rights?

Whether or not there are specific legal protections for grandparents’ rights varies by state, but in Minnesota, the statute specifically has this provision. Grandparents can seek “reasonable visitation rights” after the children’s parents divorce or if one of the children’s parents dies. In cases where the children have lived with the grandparents for at least one year and then moves, the courts may also grant visitation rights to the grandparents.

What Should I Do If I’m Being Denied Access to My Grandchildren?

Being denied access to your grandchildren can be a very difficult experience emotionally. It’s normal to be angry and upset. However, it’s important to try to remain calm and focus on the best interests and welfare of the children if you want to petition for grandparent visitation. The courts will consider factors such as how much contact you had with the children previously, but they also look at whether the grandparent relationship will interfere with the child’s relationship with their parent. If you are saying negative things about the parent to the child or otherwise harming that relationship, it can hurt your chances in court. It’s also important to attempt to continue the relationship with the children. For example, continuing to come to extracurricular events or send birthday cards in the mail can show that you are invested in the relationship even if the parents aren’t currently cooperating.

How Do I File for Grandparents’ Rights?

If you believe that your situation qualifies for grandparent visitation, the first thing to do is speak to an attorney who has experience with grandparents’ rights cases. It’s important to understand what the courts provide for when it comes to visitation and what you will have to do to get it. When you’re ready to move forward, you will file a petition with the courts to have your case for visitation heard. At the hearing, you will be able to present your case and the judge will make a decision.

Having a positive relationship with your grandchildren can be beneficial for both parties. Call our office today at 651-571-8547 to find out whether grandparents’ rights may be an option in your case and how to start the process.

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