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What are a grandparent’s right for visitation?

The laws concerning divorce and child custody in Minnesota can be confusing at times, especially if you are not an immediate part of the family. If you are a grandparent seeking custody or visitation for your grandchild, you may be concerned about what rights you have. There are several different situations, and each has a unique possible outcome.


The Minnesota State Legislature claims that, if the child is a minor and has been living with you at your residence for more than 12 months, you can petition the court for visitation rights. The judge’s decision will depend on whether he or she feels that visitation would not interfere with the relationship the child has with his or her parents and whether the arrangement would be in the child’s best interest. If the visitation is seen as positive, you can be granted this right.


If your child is deceased, you have a right to request visitation with your grandchild. Again, the child’s best interest and the amount of personal contact that has existed will be considered in the decision.


If your grandchild has been living with another person for longer than two years, but is no longer living there, you can apply for visitation. This situation does not apply if the child was living with a foster parent.


If you do apply for visitation and your request is denied, you will have to wait at least six months before applying again. This information is meant to educate you on your rights and should not be taken as legal advice.

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