The Rights of Grandparents and Caretakers to Visitation

It is quite common for children to form deep, long-lasting relationships with their grandparents, step-parents and caretakers — and a contentious divorce can seriously disrupt these bonds. Fortunately, there are laws in Minnesota and every other state providing visitation rights to grandparents.

Here in the Gopher State, grandparents do have some legal recourse to seek legal visitation rights under one or more of the following circumstances:

  • The parent of the child (who was the grandparent’s child) has passed away
  • The grandchild lived with the grandparent in question for at least 12 consecutive months
  • The grandparents can show extraordinary circumstances that having visitation rights would be in the best interests of the children

It is also important to note that back in 2000, a U.S. Supreme Court decision affirmed the rights of non-parents to seek visitation of children. However, the same ruling did provide parents with the ability to deny this visitation if they could demonstrate that it would not be in the best interests of the kids.

Are there clear benefits to the kids?

Essentially, these issues come down to the quality, quantity, and nature of the relationship between the children and their grandparents or caretakers. If you can demonstrate to the court that the kids in question would benefit from maintaining a positive relationship with you, it is likely that you will find success in these proceedings.

If you would like more information on how you might assert your rights to visit with your grandchildren, meet with the dedicated Minnesota family law attorneys at Appelhof, Pfeifer & Hart, P.A.

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