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Nov 24 2021

Determining Grandparents Rights with Divorce

Grandparents often play an immense role in their grandchildren’s lives, and the love, support, and source of enrichment they provide can be invaluable to the entire family. When a couple divorces, however, it sometimes seriously alters the status quo regarding relationships between grandparents and their grandchildren, which can be exceptionally painful for both the children and the grandchildren. In the State of Minnesota, grandparents do have legal rights in these matters, and an experienced Minnesota family law attorney can help. 

Remaining Active in Your Grandchildren’s Lives

In Minnesota, the law addresses the rights that grandparents have to remain active in their grandchildren’s lives and to seek visitation if the need arises. When it comes to matters involving children, the court always bases its decisions on the best interests of those children, and as such, the court will take the following into careful consideration in its decision-making process

  • The strength of the relationship between the grandparents and their grandchildren 
  • The role the grandparents have played in their grandchildren’s lives to date

If you have been cut out of your grandchildren’s lives as a result of their parent’s divorce, having professional legal counsel on your side is paramount.

Seeking Custody

If you believe that your grandchildren’s parents are not capable of caring for them appropriately – or that they are not caring for them appropriately – there is a legal path toward child custody as an interested third-party, which can lead to legal custody (decision-making authority), physical custody, or a parenting time schedule with the children. This is naturally a serious legal endeavor that incorporates serious legal checks and balances, including all the following:

  • The interested third party (such as grandparents) must be able to demonstrate that they have cultivated a substantial relationship with the children involved. 
  • The court will carefully weigh the competing interests between the children’s biological parents and the interested third party.
  • Minnesota courts must keep parents’ legal rights at the forefront of this matter. 
  • The interested third party shoulders the burden of proof in relation to the imminent need for legal intervention (on behalf of the children’s well-being). In other words, it will be necessary to prove that neglect, abandonment, emotional or physical abuse, parental indifference, or any other extraordinary circumstance is an issue. 

The court is tasked with balancing wide-ranging factors that can significantly affect the welfare of children, including both their emotional and physical well-being, while factoring in important parental rights, which makes interested third-party custody matters exceptionally complicated. If you are a grandparent who is worried about maintaining your relationship with your grandchildren after their parents’ divorce and/or who fears that their living situation – as it stands – is not healthy or safe, discuss your concerns with a dedicated family law attorney today.  

Turn to an Experienced Minnesota Family Law Attorney for the Legal Help You Need

The compassionate Minneapolis family law attorneys at Atticus Family Law have a wealth of experience helping grandparents maintain their legal rights, and we’re committed to also helping you. To learn more, please don’t wait to contact us today.

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