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Article of Interest - Michigan

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Bridges4Kids LogoGovernor Signs Grandparent Visitation Bill
Press Release, Office of the Governor, January 4, 2005
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LANSING – Governor Jennifer M. Granholm has strengthened the legal rights of grandparents who ask for the courts to grant them visitation with their grandchildren under certain circumstances. The Governor signed into law legislation that clarifies the legal rights for grandparents and parents, while addressing questions of constitutionality that resulted after the Michigan Supreme Court struck down the state’s grandparenting statute in DeRose v. DeRose.

“Our state’s prosperity rests in the strength of its families,” said Granholm. “By safeguarding the ability of grandparents in Michigan to spend time with their grandchildren, as well as providing the tools to determine the best interests of our children, we are helping to strengthen Michigan families.”

The new law, Public Act 542 of 2004, (Senate Bill 727) amends the Child Custody Act by establishing a grandparent’s ability to seek a grand parenting time order from family court under appropriate circumstances. It also establishes guidelines regarding who is eligible to request such an order and under what conditions, while keeping the best interests of the child in mind.

A grandparent can seek grandparenting time if:

• the grandchild’s parents are divorced, or are in the process of divorce, separation, or annulment.

• the grandchild’s parent is deceased and is the son/daughter of the grandparent.

• the grandchild’s parents have never been married, are not cohabitating, and the father’s paternity has been established.

• the child is placed outside the home or legal custody of the child has been given to someone other than a parent (unless the child was adopted by someone other than a stepparent).

• within the year prior to seeking grandparenting time, the grandparent provided an established custodial environment for the grandchild.

The new law will take immediate effect.


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