What rights do grandparents have?

Knowing what rights they have can help grandparents obtain rights for visitation with their grandkids.

Those living in Missouri who have grandchildren most likely love the little ones and want to visit with them frequently. Typically, this is not an issue, as parents and grandparents can arrange times for the grandchildren to visit with their elder relatives. However, the fact remains that there are no natural visitation rights available to grandparents. It requires a court order. Therefore, if grandparents want to make sure they have a right to see their grandkids, they must know the steps involved in pursuing the matter in court.

Filing an affidavit

When filing a petition for visitation rights, a grandparent must include a signed, written statement known as an affidavit. In this affidavit, a grandparent must explain why visitation must be ordered in order to prevent harm to the child or children. The one signing the affidavit must also describe how often he or she contacts his or her grandkids, and state why the current level of contact is unsatisfactory. Finally, a grandparent must put in the affidavit a description of his or her current relationship with the grandchild.

What courts in every state consider

While it is good if the grandparent has an important relationship with the child, it is not necessary for that to be the case in order for the court to grant visitation rights. The main things that the grandparent must show at a hearing are that the grandchild's welfare or health will be harmed without being able to see him or her, and that visitation rights are in the best interest of the child in question.

What courts in Missouri consider

In a few states, the constitutionality of statutes that allow grandparent visitation rights has fallen into question. As such, several states have recently revised the provisions in their visitation statutes. In Missouri, a couple specific provisions apply statewide. Unless granted to a blood relative, another grandparent or a stepparent, grandparents' visitation rights are cut off when the child is adopted. If a grandparent has been unreasonably denied visitation for at least 91 days, they may also be awarded visitation rights. Finally, if the parents of the child have filed for divorce, it is possible for grandparents to be awarded rights of visitation.

Is someone in Missouri is having difficulty securing visitation rights with his or her grandchildren, it can be frustrating when met with obstinacy from the child's parents. Under the right circumstances, it is, however, possible for grandparents to get the time they want with their grandkids. An attorney in the local area who is experienced with family law may be able to help secure visitation rights.