Download the 7 Most Important Things To Look For In A Family Law Attorney

Strengthening Grandparent-Grandchild Bonds


Strengthening Grandparent-Grandchild Bonds

June 10, 2024

By Johnson/Turner Legal

Strengthening Grandparent-Grandchild Bonds

June 10, 2024

By Johnson/Turner Legal

Strengthening Grandparent-Grandchild Bonds: Legal Insights and Support

1960s comedic star Sam Levenson famously quipped, “The reason grandparents and grandchildren get along so well is that they have a common enemy.” While Levenson’s humor resonates, the grandparent/parent/child dynamic can be complex and challenging. When parents are unable or unwilling to care for their children, grandparents often step in, sometimes informally and sometimes through legal means.

If you’re a grandparent concerned about the welfare of your grandchildren or a parent in a tough spot, read on. We can help.

Even if your family isn’t in crisis, the grandparent-grandchild relationship is critical. Research by Deb Link of the Ascend Family Institute highlights the benefits, including better mental health, pro-social behaviors, and school engagement for children. For grandparents, this bond can lower the risk of dementia. However, a potential drawback is an increase in childhood obesity, often attributed to indulgent treats from loving grandparents.

Legal Scenarios for Grandparent Involvement

Different scenarios may require legal proceedings based on Minnesota statutes, which are similar across states due to U.S. Supreme Court rulings.

1. When a Grandparent Assumes Full Legal Custody

A grandparent may take custody of a minor child if the parent is unavailable to care for the child. This involves guardianship, allowing the grandparent to make decisions on behalf of the child, including medical and educational decisions, and assumes financial responsibility. Custody can be temporary or permanent, and other third parties like siblings or family friends can also file for custody. The child typically needs to have lived with the grandparent, or there must be a compelling reason for the custody transfer.

2. When a Grandparent Seeks Visitation

While custody is open to any third party, grandparent visitation is specific to grandparents. For visitation rights to be awarded, there must be an open court case, such as a divorce or custody battle involving the parents. Without an open case, a grandparent cannot demand visitation rights.

3. When Planning Your Estate

Even without a current crisis, it’s wise to consider your role as a grandparent in estate planning. Many parents designate a custodian, often a grandparent, in their Will to care for minor children if they pass away. Discuss these plans with family members to ensure everyone is on the same page.

Seeking Legal Support

The court prioritizes the best interests of the children. If you’re a grandparent looking to get involved or a parent needing support, an experienced family law attorney can advocate on your behalf and provide recommendations tailored to your situation. At Johnson/Turner, we’re here to support you, no matter which side you’re on. Together, we can navigate these challenges and ensure the best outcomes for your family.


Related Posts