Can Grandparents Get Court-Ordered Visitation or Custody in Minnesota?

April 4, 2013  |  Elizabeth A. Schading

More and more grandparents are raising the children of their children. And grandparents can often find it very difficult to get time with their grandchildren after a divorce.
Courts often lump in grandparent’s time with Mom or Dad’s parenting time. If your son or daughter doesn’t make sure that you get time with your grandkids then you might find yourself in an awkward position.

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There are many reasons why this happens. Sometimes parents don’t exercise their parenting time rights. It’s also possible that your son or daughter didn’t get much of a parenting time award to begin with, or was denied access due to abuse that you had nothing to do with.
The death of a child’s parent may further complicate your ability to see your grandchild. Or you might be estranged from your own son or daughter, which means you have found yourself in a situation where neither parent wants to help you.
In Minnesota, there are specific situations where the court might be willing to entertain the notion of grandparent’s custody or parenting time. They are:

  • The child’s parent (your child or the spouse) is deceased.
  • The child’s parents are getting divorced.
  • The child lived with you for over a year.
  • You were involved in certain legal proceedings regarding the children, such as custody hearings or parentage proceedings.

The courts will also pay close attention, as usual, to the quality and extent of your relationship with your grandchildren. If you can show that it would detrimental to the physical, mental, and emotional health of your grandchildren to lose a relationship with you then you will often have a much stronger case.
If you are the grandparent of a child involved in a divorce in Minnesota, we understand that you are facing some unique and often unacknowledged stress. Know your options, secure your position, and protect your relationship with your grandchildren by seeking the advice of a family lawyer early. At BGS we’ve got over 80 years of combined family law experience. Let us put it to work for you. Contact us for a consultation today.