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Ely, Counselor at Law
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 102191
Experience:  Private practice with focus on family, criminal, PI, consumer protection, and business consultation.
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Ely. I was wondering about establishing Grandparents

Customer Question

Hello Ely. I am Danielle. I was wondering about establishing Grandparents visitation rights for myself ion the state of Minnesota. My daughter had a baby in June of 2015 and in August signed over full legal and physical custody of the baby to the father of the baby. Recently he has been in some legal trouble and he signed over temporary custody to his mother and she is very limiting on allowing anyone from my daughters family, including my daughter, to spend time with the baby. And if we are able to spend time with the baby, we have to do it at the custodial grandmothers home in her presence as written in the custody papers until the child is 2 1/2 years old. I would like to get this changed so that I can spend time with my granddaughter. I would like to know what kind of information I would need to gather to be able to be awarded visitation time and how I would go about pursuing this.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  Ely replied 1 year ago.
Hello and thank you for requesting me. I am sorry as I was offline until today so had not seen this until now. Please note: This is general information for educational purposes only and is not legal advice. No specific course of action is proposed herein, and no attorney-client relationship or privilege is formed by speaking to an expert on this site. By continuing, you confirm that you understand and agree to these terms.
Can you please clarify something for me? You mention "we have to do it at the custodial grandmothers home in her presence as written in the custody papers until the child is 2 1/2 years old."
Do you mean your names are ***** ***** within the decree? Or does it say that the grandmother simply can choose to allow "relatives" (or whatever verbiage is used - which?) to visit at her discretion? Also, are you actually listed as a PARTY in the suit, or not?
This is not an answer, but an information request. I need this information to answer your question. Please reply, so I can answer your question. Thank you in advance.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thank you for your reply. When I say we are not allowed to have visitation with the child unless it it's at the custodial grandmother's house in her presence I mean that my daughter, the mother of the child, is not allowed to have visitation unless she goes over there when the grandmother says its okay even though though the decree says 3-4 days a week for a few hours each time. She can bring myself, being the baby's grandmother or my mother, the great grandmother and once in a while the Godmother but otherwise the custodial grandmother does not want anyone one else in her house. It is not written anywhere in the decree specifically that I am not allowed to come visit. It is not written anywhere in the decree that anybody else is not allowed to come visit. My name is ***** ***** the paperwork at all. The decree only addresses visitation for my daughter with the baby. The custodial grandmother says we are welcome but when we request to visit she usually finds excuses. It does say in the papers though that the baby cannot go with my daughter or my daughters family until she is 2 1/2 and that includes holidays and birthdays.
I hope that answers your questions. If you have any other questions, please let me know.
Expert:  Ely replied 1 year ago.

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.

I hope this helps and clarifies. Please use the SEND or REPLY button to keep chatting, or please RATE when finished. You may always ask follow ups at no charge after rating. Kindly rate my answer as one of TOP THREE FACES/STARS and then SUBMIT, as this is how experts get credit for our time. Rating my answer the bottom two faces/stars (or failing to submit the rating) does not give me credit and reflects poorly on me, even if my answer is correct. I work very hard to formulate an informative and honest answer for you; please reciprocate my good faith with a positive rating.