Tuft, Lach, Jerabek & O’Connell, PLLC offers representation in third-party visitation matters. Under Minnesota law, the court may grant visitation rights to third parties in exceptional circumstances. This law is often referred to as the “grandparent visitation statute” although you do not need to be a grandparent to qualify for visitation rights. Minnesota law provides that the following persons may qualify for visitation rights:
- Parents or grandparents of a deceased parent;
- Grandparent or great-grandparent of a child involved in a family court proceeding;
- Grandparents or great-grandparents of a child who has resided with them for a period of twelve months or more;
- Individual other than a foster parent, with whom the child has resided for two years or more.
There may also be a separate common law basis for third party visitation, which may include siblings of the child and persons who have acted as a parent to the child.
In granting visitation to a third party, the court will consider:
- the child’s best interests, which may include the reasonable preference of the child, if of sufficient age to express a preference;
- whether there will be interference with the custodial parent-child relationship; and
- the amount of personal contact between applicant and child prior to application.
Rights to visitation granted to third parties will terminate upon the child’s adoption, unless the adoption was by a stepparent or grandparent.
For more information contact Tuft, Lach, Jerabek & O’Connell, PLLC at 651-771-0050 to schedule a consultation with one of our experienced family law attorneys.