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A Better Partnership
June 21, 2017

COA: Fit parents have the right to adjust grandparenting time

“MCL 722.27b provides grandparents in certain situations the means to seek an order for grandparenting time.” However, in Geering v. King, No. 335794, the Court of Appeals found that this cannot come at the expense of limiting the right of fit parents, who may, for reasons the courts may disagree with, choose to limit the amount of time that their children spend with their grandparents.
 
Where two fit parents sign an affidavit stating that they both oppose an order for grandparenting time, the court shall dismiss a complaint or motion seeking an order for grandparenting time filed under subsection (3) of MCL 722.27b. Where two fit parents oppose visitation, “there is an irrebuttable presumption [created] that denial of grandparenting time will not create a substantial risk of harm to the child.”
 
In determining whether parents are fit, the court relied on the United States Supreme Court’s ruling in Troxel v Granville, 530 US 57, 68, where the court found that a fit parent is one who “adequately cares for his or her children.” Based on this definition, the court found that the trial court’s determination that the parents in this case were unfit was against the weight in the record and that with the application of MCL 722.27b(5), the parents opposition to visitation time should be upheld, denying any motion for grandparenting time.
 

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