Until recently it was very difficult and expensive for grandparents to establish parenting time rights with their grandchildren. For many years there was no “right” to parenting time with grandparents at all. Then the various states slowly began to address the issue, Michigan among them. Unfortunately, the appellate courts struck down the law. That was appealed to the United States Supreme Court, which laid down “guidelines” for valid laws permitting courts to set up grandparent visitation. Michigan responded with a modified statute and cases began to work their way through the courts.
As a practical matter, many judges required expert witness testimony to establish that a denial of visitation between grandparents and grandchildren would harm the children. This frequently resulted in lengthy and very expensive litigation.
Recently the Michigan legislature has re-worked the Grandparent Visitation statute, reducing the hurdles faced by grandparents. Please contact one of our family law experts to determine if you may qualify for grandparent parenting time.