Child custody disputes, for the most part, involve two parents and cover issues like primary custody, visitation rights and child support. But these custody battles often have greater implications. As family dynamics change, child custody not only impacts the immediate family but also the extended family.
Two grandparents in Michigan felt this impact in a hard way and are fighting for the right to see their grandchildren. It has been over two years since they last saw their grandkids, now four and five-years-old. Their son, the father of the children, is deceased. After his death, the child’s mother refused to allow the children to visit the grandparents even though they previously spent time together. Apparently the mother and the grandparents suffered some sort of falling out around that time.
The Michigan Supreme Court is the latest court to hear the case after lower courts ruled against the grandparents in their request for visitation time. At the time of his death, the father had a child-abuse charge against him in connection with one of his children. He was awaiting sentencing before he died. The mother’s attorney stated that because the father’s parental rights were terminated at that time, his parents no longer have legal standing to compel visitation time.
The grandparents say they just want to spend time with the grandchildren and believe that the interaction would be good for everyone. The mother of the children feels differently and has genuine concerns about what might happen if the grandparents connected with her children again.
Grandparents in similar situations can speak to a Detroit visitation rights attorney and see what options are available. Under the Child Custody Act, a grandparent’s rights come through the parental rights of his or her child but the situation may not always be so cut and dry. When it comes to family, it is important to consider all avenues to protect one’s legal rights.
Source: MLive, “Michigan Supreme Court hears case of Saginaw grandparents fighting to see grandchildren,” Brad Devereaux, Feb. 3, 2014