Speaker Law Firm Wins Appeal for Two Fit Parents Wrongfully Subjected to Grandparenting Time Order | Speaker Law
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Speaker Law Firm Wins Appeal for Two Fit Parents Wrongfully Subjected to Grandparenting Time Order

Posted on Thursday, May 17, 2018

The COA issued another published opinion in a grandparenting time case. Geering v Robinson, issued June 13, 2017 (Docket 335794). In that case, the parents had divorced. Although they struggled with some issues post-judgment of divorce, including litigation over parenting time and custody, they eventually resolved their differences and stipulated to a custody and parenting time order. In the meantime, the mother’s father (paternal grandfather) filed a motion for grandparenting time.  The parents submitted an affidavit opposing the grandparenting time. 

According to MCL 722.27b(5) provides that “If 2 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….” (Emphasis added).  Here, the trial court put the parties through a fitness trial, concluded that the parents were unfit, and awarded grandparenting time.

The COA reversed the trial court’s decision, concluding that the trial court’s decision that the parents were unfit was against the great weight of the evidence.  Although the parents at one point had difficulty communicating with each other, were inconsistent in meting out discipline, were inconsistent in co-parenting, those difficulties had resolved themselves by the time the parents stipulated to parenting time and custody.  There was no evidence in this record that the parents were not adequately caring for their children (that is, there was no evidence they lacked fitness). The COA remanded for dismissal of the grandparenting time motion, as required by statute.

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