Jacquelyn S. Gonz, Attorney At Law Llc

Visitation extends to grandparents in Missouri

When you ask a child to describe their family, they tell you about their parents, siblings and possibly their grandparents because many grandparents play a significant role in their grandchild’s life. But what happens to the role during a divorce proceeding?

In Missouri, child custody focuses on the care between two parents. However, grandparents can seek visitation through court measures – which allows grandparents to continue an active role in their grandchildren’s lives.

A guide to grandparents’ visitations

It’s critical to understand that visitation is not a guarantee for grandparents in Missouri. You have to go through a strict legal process and perform additional steps to ensure you have the legal authority to visit your grandchild.

First, you have to have a sufficient reason to file for visitation, including:

  • The child’s parents filed for divorce
  • One parent died, and the other partner won’t allow visitation
  • The child already leaves with the grandparent for at least six of the 24 months prior
  • The parents unreasonably deny visitation for more than 90 days

You may meet one of these reasons and still not qualify for visitation because you do not a have a paternity action to back up your relation to the child or the child is part of an “intact family” – a nuclear family without any divisive factors or divorce.

If you establish paternity and have met the qualifications, the court looks into your case and follows the best visitation schedule for the child. The judge uses the same guidelines as they would during child custody cases, which means they decide what works in the best interest of the child before everything else.

Once the court approves your visitation rights, you will be able to spend time with your grandchild under the limitations provided by the judge. But you need the right representation to ensure that approval happens.

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