Overbearing Grandparents – Protecting Your Family from Grandparent Visitation Actions

Providing a home for your child that is full of love and support is part of your primary job as a parent.  You work hard to make sure your child’s environment Grandparents speaking with grandsonis the best possible that you can provide, and that he or she is thriving.  In the best situations, this positive environment will include lots of friends and family, such as grandparents.  Unfortunately, in some situations, close connections to your grandparents can be a liability instead of an asset.  If your parents or in-laws are turning into overbearing grandparents, it is important to know how to protect your family from grandparent parenting time actions.

Minnesota statutes provide that a grandparent can seek parenting time of his or her grandparents.  The key to protecting your family from a suit from an overbearing grandparent is to understand the situations during which a court may be willing to grant grandparent parenting time.  A grandparent is not able to get parenting time simply because he or she feels the current access provided by the parents is somehow unfair or insufficient.  Instead, a grandparent must meet certain benchmarks.  One way a grandparent can seek parenting time is if the child of the grandparent (i.e., the child’s parent) is deceased.  A grandparent can also request parenting time if the child has lived with the grandparent for at least twelve months.  Finally, a grandparent can request visits if he or she was involved in the divorce of the parents.  If the grandparent can meet one of those three prongs, then the grandparent must also prove that parenting time is in the best interest of the child and that the grandparent’s relationship would not interfere with the relationship between the child and the parents.

Knowing this, it is clear that one of the best ways to protect your family from grandparent parenting time actions is to set very specific boundaries with the grandparents.  In other words, allowing the grandparent to take over too many of the parenting responsibilities can mean that you have opened your family to a grandparent parenting time action.  Making sure that the grandparents fulfill only the role of grandparent can often be the best first line of defense against a grandparent parenting time action.

We have extensive experience helping our clients with all types of family law cases, including grandparent parenting time actions.  Call us today at 651-371-9117 to talk about your case and what needs to be done to move forward.