Take the First Step Towards Restoration Today Effective Solutions for Your Family Law Case

Scott County Grandparents’ Rights Attorneys

Protect Your Relationship with Your Grandchild with Meinerts Law

When parents divorce and create a custody agreement, other members of the family are usually left out. Many times, grandparents are blocked, intentionally or unintentionally, from seeing their grandchildren. However, the state of Minnesota statutorily provides alternatives for grandparents or other interested third parties.

At the Meinerts Law in Scott County, Minnesota, we assist grandparents in obtaining temporary or permanent visitation or custodial rights. To learn more about your legal options at this difficult time, contact our offices today.

Represent. Resolve. Restore. Call our dedicated Dakota County grandparents' rights lawyers at (952) 777-8886 now.

Securing Visitation and Custody Rights

Visitation is available to grandparents under Minnesota Statutes 257C.08. Grandparents seek visitation of a grandchild if:

  • the parent of the child is deceased
  • a family court proceeding involving the child, such as a custody battle, has commenced or has been completed, or
  • the child has resided with the grandparents for 12+ months

A Minnesota court will only grant a grandparent visitation if doing so is in the best interests of the child and will not interfere with the parent-child relationship. Factors a court will consider in determining whether to grant visitation to grandparents include the amount of previous contact between the grandparents and the child, the child’s wishes, and anything else the court considers relevant to the child’s well-being.

For a variety of reasons, a grandparent may decide visitation is not enough. Custody involves the legal right to manage a child’s day-to-day activities as well as the right to make important decisions for the child. In Minnesota, grandparents may typically seek custody of grandchildren under one of two scenarios.

If a grandparent is a “de facto custodian” of the child, he or she may seek custody under Chapter 257C of Minnesota Statutes. A de facto custodian is someone who has lived with the child and acted as a primary caregiver for the child for a certain amount of time while there has been a demonstrated and consistent lack of participation by a parent. Minnesota courts will look at many factors to determine whether a grandparent qualifies as a de facto custodian, such as the circumstances of the parent’s absence, the amount of involvement the parent had with the child during the parent’s absence and the intent of the parent or parents in placing the child with the grandparent.

Alternately, grandparents may seek custody as “interested third parties.” In order to do so successfully, grandparents must show by clear and convincing evidence that the child will suffer harm by living with the parent due to the likelihood of abandonment, neglect or other disregard for the child’s wellbeing; that placement of the child with them takes priority over preserving the day-to-day parent-child relationship because of the presence of physical and/or emotional danger; or that other extraordinary circumstances exist warranting placement of the child with them. Of course, the court will consider the child’s relationship with the interested third parties as well as his or her relationship with the parents in setting custody arrangements.

Meeting the definition of a de facto custodian or an interested third party is only the first hurdle for a grandparent seeking custody; in custody decisions, the court’s priority is always the best interests of the child. The grandparents will be able to secure a custody decision in their favor if, and only if, the court finds that the grandparents have standing to ask for custody and that the child would be better off with them.

Ready to approach this process? We're ready to help. Contact MeinertsLaw today to request a consultation with our team.

Give Your Family Law Case the Attention It Deserves.

Get Started with a Free & Confidential Consultation.
  1. Families turn to our firm for effective legal representation.
  2. Our attorneys are equipped with the legal insight and experience to handle highly complex matters involving your family.
  3. Clients can depend on us to champion their best interests.
  4. We provide all of our clients with the tools, resources, and confidence to pursue favorable case results.
  5. Helping families navigate through a difficult time is our top priority.
  6. Skilled litigation and trusted guidance is what our firm is known for.
Connect with Meinerts Law Today
  • Please enter your name.
  • This isn't a valid email address.
    Please enter your email address.
  • This isn't a valid phone number.
    Please enter your phone number.
    You entered an invalid number.
  • Please select an option.
  • Please enter a message.