It is common for family members such as grandparents to become very important people in children’s lives. Sometimes when a couple with children decides to separate, it is unfortunate that grandparents may miss out on spending time with the children because the family, as a unit, changes drastically.
Can the Minnesota court system help grandparents to still see their grandchildren after a divorce? The answer is yes–grandparent rights in Minnesota are defined by state law and can be pursued in court.
In Minnesota, there is a Statute designed to ensure that grandparents can remain active participants in the children’s lives and ask for parenting time or visitation. When looking at the grandparent’s request, the Court examines the relationship between the child and their grandparents, as well as the role the grandparents have had in the child’s life. Our attorneys can defend your grandparent rights by helping you bring a Motion to court and request visitation or parenting time with your grandchildren.
A grandparent can also bring a motion for custody of the minor child as an Interested Third Party if, for whatever reason, a child’s parents are unable to provide the attention and care the child requires. Under this proceeding, a grandparent may seek legal custody, physical custody, or parenting time with the minor child.
There must be a significant and substantial relationship between the minor child and the Interested Third Party before an Interested Third Party Petition for Custody and/or Parenting Time is brought. In such a proceeding, the Court typically compares the competing interests involved between the parties (for example, a biological parent versus the Interested Third Party).
Because third parties are involved, the legal situation can be very complex. Minnesota courts are cognizant of the parent’s biological relationship with their children; yet, the Court has to balance the child’s welfare, emotional and physical safety and any other special circumstances when it comes to these proceedings. An interested third party has the burden of proof to show that certain factors are met, such as abandonment, neglect, disregard for the child’s well-being, physical or emotional danger, or other extraordinary circumstances.
While earning their recognition in court can pose significant challenges, grandparent rights in Minnesota are firmly established under law. With the help of an experienced attorney, you can ensure that you remain active in your grandchildren’s lives, or even take the place of the biological parents, if necessary.
At Clausen & Hassan, our lawyers pride themselves on how they serve our clients. Please reach out today for your free consultation—you can call our office at (651) 647-0087 or contact us by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.