After a divorce, it is generally assumed that each parent will take responsibility for ensuring their children continue a relationship with their grandparents. However, this is not always feasible. Perhaps a parent has passed away or is no longer in contact with their parents. Or perhaps a parent does not have visitation rights themselves, and so they cannot arrange to see grandparents with their kids.
If you are a grandparent who, after a divorce, is not spending the time you’d like with your grandchildren you may wonder if you have any rights around visitation. The good news is, in the state of Minnesota you absolutely do.
What are my rights for visitation as a grandparent?
Minnesota statute 257C.08 gives grandparents the legal right to be an active participant in their grandchildren’s lives and allows grandparents to petition the court for visitation. The court will consider the relationship that exists between the child and the grandparent, and the role the grandparents played in the child’s life before the divorce, in order to respond to the request.
What if you feel your grandchildren are in danger?
If you feel that your grandchildren’s living conditions are dangerous, for whatever reason, the state of Minnesota allows you to bring a petition for custody to the court. Grandparents may seek legal custody, physical custody or parenting time with the children. Because grandparents’ right are so firmly established in the state, the courts will listen to your case closely, and make a decision that they feel is in the best interest of the children.
If you feel your relationship with your grandchildren has changed for the worse after their parents’ divorce, you may petition the court for your right to be a part of their lives.