Grandparent’s Rights – 3 Things You Didn’t Know

by Child Custody, Family Law, Grandparents Rights

Grandparent and grandchildren relationships are an integral part of most families. They are the bonds that tie many families together. Even in a day and age when many families do not follow the traditional version of a family unit – grandparents are important. You know that – here are 3 things you might not know about grandparents and their grandchildren.

#1 Grandparent and Grandchild Relationships are Beneficial

Both grandparents and grandchildren are generally happier having each other in their lives. Children, young and old, benefit from healthy adult relationships. These healthy adult relationships can often be provided by the child’s grandma and grandpa and bring perspective only the upper generation can sometimes bring.

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Grandparents, most of all, often dote on their grandchildren. They think the world of their grandkids, which can often raise the child’s self-esteem. Children also benefit from hearing stories about what life was like when their grandparent was young. These first-hand recollections can give kids a different view of history and their own lives. Grandparent and grandchild relationships benefit the grandchild as well as the grandparent.

If a grandparent is from a much older generation, a connection to their grandchild could be eye opening. Their experience with new (& exciting) technology and ways of thinking can give them new insight. Sometimes grandparents live isolated or lonely lives. Having a regular relationship with a grandchild can create a sense of belonging and purpose. The bond between a grandparent and grandchild can be especially strong, so there can be nothing that compares to it. 

#2 Relative Foster Care May Be Best With Grandparents

Sometimes families go through transitions. There can be instances where the children are placed outside the home for various reasons. Some of the reasons can be separation or divorce, substance abuse by one or both parents, or instances of physical or emotional abuse. When these scenarios happen, and foster care is necessary, grandparents are often a top option. Because grandparent relationships are so important, keeping children with them is sometimes the best option.

If the grandparents are willing and able, the court system will often place preference on placing the children in relative foster care. This would place the children with grandparents rather than outside the home and family with strangers. If a family is in an especially delicate transition, parents may not consider the grandparents the best place for their children. In these cases, grandparents may have options they are unaware of.

#3 Grandparents Have Rights

Parents are not the only family that has rights to their children. In cases of family transition, grandparents need to know they have rights as well. Depending on the situation, they may have the right to see their grandchildren. Most of all, they may have rights to visitation, custody, or foster care. Finding out what your rights are is essential. The best way to do this is to consult with an experienced and effective family law attorney. They will know what the laws are in your area. They will also understand what laws might pertain to your particular case.

Visitation Rights for Grandparents

Grandparents may feel they have a right to parenting (or grand-parenting) time with their grandchildren. Sometimes this seems necessary in the case of a divorce or a separation. When a couple divorces or separates, the grandparent’s relationship with the children can be compromised. If the parents have a less-than-stable relationship, one parent may hold it against the other parent’s family. If this is the case, the grandparents involved may have a right to file for visitation. It is best to consult with a local family law attorney familiar with the rights of grandparents.

Another situation that may beg grandparents to find out what their rights are in the case of non-relative foster care. If children are removed from their parent’s care, they are sometimes placed in foster care with people who are not relatives of the family. If this is the case, the grandparents may have the right to visit their grandchildren. Again, seeking the advice of a family law attorney versed in grandparents’ rights will help determine if this situation fits you.

A family may be in a situation where one parent has passed away, and the living parent has sole custody. The living parent may not allow the deceased parent’s family to see the child or children. If this is the case, grandparent visitation rights may be necessary.

No matter what transition a family unit may be going through, the assistance of a qualified and effective family law attorney is necessary. So, whether grandparents are inquiring about court-ordered visitation rights or court-ordered custody of grandchildren, the right family law attorney will help you.

Grandparent Custody

Similar to grandparent visitation, family situations may call for the grandparents to file for custody of their grandchildren. When this happens, it is often called a 3rd party custody proceeding. Filing custody for grandchildren may occur in the event of the death of one or both parents. It could also be necessary in the case of a messy divorce. If this situation unfolds, the children will need stability. No matter what the family case may be, the court will keep the best interest of the child in mind. A family law attorney will evaluate each situation on a case-by-case basis.

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Grandparents’ Rights and Grandchildren’s Best Interests

Every family situation is unique. Be sure to discuss your case with a family law attorney familiar with the MN laws concerning grandparents’ rights. Contact attorney Kay Snyder today if you think your circumstances might be best served by having custody of your grandchildren or visitation rights with them.

Kay Snyder, a family law attorney in Central MN, is experienced with grandparents’ custody and visitation rights. She knows the laws and will gladly offer you a free initial consultation to discuss your case. Contact Kay Snyder today to find out if your rights as a grandparent are being infringed upon.


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