Thank you - that helps.
Grandparent's rights do exist in MN. However they are not automatic, meaning one cannot simply force visitation with a grandparent. One has to go through the court, and request visitation from the Court. If so, then the Judge has the final decision.
The grandparent would have to show by clear and convincing evidence that:
- Visitation with the grandparent is in the best interests of the child, and
- Visitation with the grandparent would not interfere with the parent-child relationship
This is very subjective and is on a case by case basis. Primarily what the Court will want to see is a pre-established relationship between the grandparent and the child. This is important. Without such a relationship, the Court will be unlikely to grand visitation. If visitation is granted, how much and when is at the Court's discretion, and it can be a few hours a week or every other Sunday, etc.
One begins by filing a PETITION for grandparent's rights, and serving all interested parties (the other grandparent that has custody, and the biological parents). Then the Court will have a trial eventually where the Judge will decide based on evidence presented, unless the parties come to a settlement privately. I do not have a sample petition from MN, but I have (a) a sample petition from Mass and (b) Petition for Adoption from MN. See here:
The Mass petition should give one an example of what such a petition would look like in general. The MN petition (for adoption) helps to show what kind of format/verbiage an MN court would use. It is best to use counsel if possible, of course.
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