Parenting time is likewise determined by what is in the child’s best interests. There is a presumption in Michigan that it is in a child’s best interests to have a strong and loving relationship with both of their parents. The frequency, type, and duration of a parenting time award must be reasonably calculated to promote such a relationship.
The child has a right to maintain their relationship and have parenting time with both parents unless it is shown that parenting time would endanger the child’s physical, mental, or emotional health.
Grandparents have an independent right to visit their grandchildren if certain circumstances can be proven:
- An action for divorce, separate maintenance or annulment involving the child’s parents is pending before the Court, or;
- The child’s parents are divorced, separated under a Judgment of Separate Maintenance or have had their marriage annulled, or;
- The child’s parent who is a child of the grandparents is deceased;
- The child’s parents have never been married, they are not residing in the same household, and paternity has been established;
- Legal custody of the child has been given to a person other that the child’s parents or the child is placed outside of and does not reside in the home of a parent; or
- In the year preceding the commencement of the action for grand parenting time the grandparents provided an established custodial environment for the child, whether or not the grand parents had custody under a Court order.
In plain English this means grandparents must prove that to deny grand parenting time creates a substantial risk of harm to the child’s mental, physical, or emotional health.
The Courts will determine what is reasonable grand parenting time on a case-by-case basis, keeping the child’s best interests in mind!