There are certain stereotypes associated with being a grandparent. Some Florida grandparents get to go on fun-filled adventures with their grandchildren without the concerns of discipline or nutrition and then return the children to their parents. However, this has not been the case for one set of grandparents. They have been fighting for years just to be able to have visitation rights. Fortunately, a recent ruling by one state’s Supreme Court has put them back on the path to reestablishing a relationship with their grandchildren.
The grandparents say that they had a relationship with their grandchildren before the death of their son — the children’s father. However, in 2011, their son committed suicide while waiting sentencing in a child abuse case regarding one of the children. His parental rights had been stripped prior to his death.
The children’s mother soon denied visitation to their grandparents. In Sept. 2011, a circuit court judge ruled that the grandparents had no legal rights to visitation. An appellate court upheld the ruling. However, in April, the Michigan Supreme Court reversed the decision and remanded the case back to the circuit court. The grandparents have stated that they would like to see their grandchildren one weekend each month.
While their pursuit of visitation continues, they have at least cleared one legal hurdle in their struggle. Many people in Florida who have grandchildren can testify to the joy they bring to their life. In a contentious battle such as this, knowledge of state law and of previous rulings in similar situations could have a large impact on the final outcome. However, it is important that both sides consider the best interest of the children at heart in such disputes.
Source: mlive.com, “Michigan Supreme Court sides with Saginaw grandparents in their bid for visitation rights“, Andy Hoag, April 23, 2014