How Grandparent Custody Works in Macomb County, Michigan
In any custody matter, Michigan courts prioritize what is in the best interests of the child. When a third party, including grandparents, seeks custody, the court weighs the parents’ rights alongside what is right for the child. It isn’t easy to successfully achieve grandparent custody. If a grandparent firmly believes a grandchild would be better off living with them, a convincing case must be made. For that, it is necessary to get the help of a Michigan family law attorney.
Grandparent Custody Rights in Michigan
For any grandparent to be awarded custody of a grandchild, the court must determine that the parents are unfit to care for the child.
Should custody not be granted to a grandparent, there is still the possibility of grandparenting time, which means visitation with the grandparents. There are conditions that must be met and conditions that must be proven before a grandparent has any possibility of being awarded grandparenting time.
In Michigan, the courts recognize that parents have the right to custody of their children.
Should a petition for grandparents’ rights be filed, the court will look at many variables to determine what living environment and what guardians are best for the child, including the parent’s or grandparent’s ability to:
- Provide love and affection.
- Offer guidance.
- Provide food, clothing, shelter, and medical care.
- Continue the child’s education.
The child has rights too, and the court will consider a child’s:
- Emotional ties with the parents.
- Relationship with the grandparents.
- Preference for where he or she wants to live.
- School records.
In general, the court will also weigh:
- The stability of the home.
- The child’s duration in the current home.
- Whether there is a history of domestic violence.
- The mental, physical, and emotional health of all parties.
Grandparent Petition for Custody
If a grandparent wants custody of their grandchild because they believe the parents are unfit to care for the child, a petition must be filed with the court. Petitions are sometimes filed if there is a divorce pending between the child’s parents, if the child was born out of wedlock and the parents do not live together, or if the child’s parent is deceased, but this is not an exhaustive list of reasons a grandparent may want custody.
Parents have a right to their children and should they oppose a grandparent’s effort to prove that they are unfit, it will be an uphill battle for the grandparent to gain custody. The court determines whether it is in the child’s best interests to spend time with the grandparent and will examine whether, without that time, some harm could befall the grandchild in their current circumstances.
Find Out Your Grandparent Custody Rights from a Macomb County Family Law Attorney
When a child is loved, the people in his or her life just want the best for that child. Dedicated grandparents who feel their grandchild is at risk or living in an unsafe environment with unfit parents will do just about anything to keep their grandchild safe. Contact Michigan Divorce Help in Mount Clemens, MI, to discuss your situation with a family law attorney and find out what your rights are and what efforts you can make to win custody of your grandchild.