In Missouri, grandparents can receive visitation rights under specific factual scenarios. The frequency and length of the visitations depend significantly on the particular situation. At Featherston Lecour Law, we identify potential areas of agreement with the child's parents while advocating their position in front of a court.
Grandparents who act as primary caregivers or have significant concerns regarding their grandchild's caregivers occasionally find guardianship is a better solution. As an advocate for grandparents' rights in St. Charles, Missouri, we strive to help those who seek custody of their grandchildren.
When Can Grandparents Ask for Court-Ordered Visitation?
In Missouri, grandparents have the right to ask for visitation as long as it is not considered excessive or overly intrusive. This right only applies to biological grandparents and may be exercised in the following circumstances:
- The child's parents are married and file for legal separation or divorce
- The surviving parent denies reasonable visitation after one parent's death, or
- The child's parents are unmarried, and the grandparent is unreasonably denied visitation for more than 90 days
The grandparent requesting visitation has the burden of proving that the proposed visitation schedule will be in the child's best interests.
More Time With Your Grandchildren
Whether you seek custody of your grandchild or want to be granted legal visitation from the court, you can depend on the Featherston Lecour Law to represent your interests. We understand how important it is for a child to interact with their grandparents and will work to ensure the bonds of your family are preserved.
What Is Considered Reasonable Visitation?
Under current Missouri law, grandparent visitation can be a bit limited. If there is no evidence of neglect or abuse of the children, which would trigger a third-party case or guardianship, you will most likely be granted a couple of days a month. Visitation can vary depending on the Judge, as some favor less time, and others favor more.
Third-Party Custody for Concerned Family Members
Third parties, such as grandparents or extended family members, may request third-party custody. This is commonly done when they believe the child's parents are unfit, unable, or unwilling to provide proper care. Reasons for third-party custody include drug and alcohol abuse or mental illness in the child's parents.
Third-party family members often find themselves in a crisis when the child's parent unexpectedly reappears to demand custody. If you want custody of a child due to long-term substance abuse or mental health issues with their parent, you must exercise your grandparent custody rights.
Guardianship in Missouri
Some grandparents may look at their situation and decide that neither visitation nor third-party custody is the best option. If you currently have your grandchildren living with you full-time and plan to do that for the foreseeable future, legal guardianship may be the right choice.
Grandparents usually seek guardianship when the parents are incapable of caring for their children due to short-term issues. This could be due to medical issues, military deployment, or other situations. An appointment of guardianship gives the guardian legal authority to care for the child and make decisions on their behalf.
Contact Featherston Lecour Law Today
Procedural aspects of family law cases can be complex. It's essential to have an attorney with a proven ability to achieve positive results. If you are searching for a family law attorney in St. Charles, Missouri, contact us today by calling (636) 685-0440. We serve clients in St. Charles, St. Peters, O'Fallon, St. Louis, and the surrounding communities.