Janet L. Goehle, Attorney at Law
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What factors help determine grandparents' rights in Minnesota?

Many Minnesota grandparents share a special bond with their grandchildren. They treasure their relationship and see in these children all the possibilities that life can offer. But what happens if the child's parents become unfit to raise their own children or simply refuse to let their own parents see their grandchildren? Is it possible for Minnesota grandparents to secure visitation rights with their grandchildren?

Minnesota grandparents can indeed seek visitation rights for their grandchildren, if one or both parents of the child have died, or if the parents of their grandchild get divorced or separated, get an annulment or are involved in a proceeding to determine parentage. There is also another way that a Minnesota grandparent can file for visitation rights with their grandchild. That is if the child previously lived with the grandparent for at least one year and was taken from the grandparent's home by the parent.

Grandparents' rights in Minnesota derive from a statute enacted by the Minnesota Legislature. Based on this statute, there are two factors that a Minnesota court will consider in determining whether to grant visitation rights to a grandparent. The first is whether visitation by the grandparent is in the best interests of the child.

The second factor that a Minnesota court will consider is the effect that the grandparent and grandchild relationship has on the parent and child relationship. The association must be supportive and a grandparent must not try to assume control of the child at the expense of the parent.

Source: www.grandparents.about.com, "Minnesota grandparents' rights", Accessed June 7, 2015

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