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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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  • "Tori had a thorough understanding of my situation and made excellent recommendations to resolve my concerns. She was persistent on communication and handled everything in a very timely manner. I would definitely hire her again in the future if needed." - M.K.

  • "With Appelhof, Pfeifer & Hart, P.A., it is like having a family physician. They are all knowledgeable, thorough, comforting, and the only call I need to make for all my legal needs for many years to come. No matter what the matter, I totally trust their advice and commitment to me and my family." - J.N.

  • "Mary from APH Law helped me thru a difficult divorce. She and the entire staff was there for me every step of the way helping me on what to do next. They listened to what I wanted and helped me achieve what matter the most to me in the divorce settlement." - Dana C.

  • "I chose APH after my initial consultation with Mary. I felt my best interest would be represented. The entire process went excellent, the attorneys and staff communicated effectively and efficiently with me throughout the process as they needed to. Being new to the legal process and verbiage, they walked me and talked me through the next steps and the jargon, I felt completely comfortable and represented. I hope I never have to use legal services again but if I do I will call Mary at APH Law and know that I will be taken care of." - Jeff M.

  • "Divorce is a time of emotion and stress. Mary Pfeifer , My lawyer was professional and compassionate. She was very informative through the process. Her insight helped me in my decisions. She worked hard to obtain a settlement which was fair to both parties. Though, I hope I won't need her help again. It is reassuring to know a good person that is willing to help." - Rod S.

  • "I first came to Ms. Jacquelyn Lutz of Appelhof, Pfeifer and Hart in October of 2016. It was definitely the worst time in my life and she compassionately spoke with me about my options. Ms. Lutz thoroughly explained the laws, statutes, process and what to expect going forward. What was supposed to be one case, turned into three intricate cases that took a huge toll on me and my family. Ms. Lutz represented me in court on all three cases with a vast knowledge of the laws and how to proceed accordingly. During all three cases she kept me informed, calm, gave me resources to utilize, and (most important) gave me a realistic view of what may come next. Ms. Lutz knew each case required a great deal of knowledge and creative thinking on how to legally proceed forward with each case. My family and friends are forever grateful for the amazing representation by Ms. Lutz. I highly recommend Ms. Lutz for anyone needing or considering superb representation for any kind of family law. " - M.H.

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