Can grandparents in Missouri seek visitation rights?

On behalf of Stange Law Firm, PC posted in Family Law on Monday, July 22, 2019.

You likely have as much love for your grandchildren in Springfield as you do for your own children. Thus, whenever any issue arises that may limit your access to them, you may justifiably want to fight for visitation rights. State family courts recognize that children are typically better served when they have as many loving supportive figures in their lives as possible. Thus, they may indeed consider your petition to be granted official grandparent visitation rights if and when the situation calls for it.

According to Section 452.402 of Missouri’s Domestic Relations Code, you can seek for grandparent visitation in any of the following scenarios:

  • Your adult child dies and their children’s surviving parent denies you access to them
  • Your adult child files for divorce from their spouse (if you fear that such an action will limit your access to your grandchildren
  • Your grandchild has lived in your home for a period of at least six months within the last 24 months and you have recently been denied access to your grandchildren for a period of over 90 days

In the final scenario listed above, your ability to seek visitation is limited only to those situations where your grandchildren’s natural parents are not living and raising the child together.

As is the case in all custody matters, the best interest of the children is the determining factor when deciding upon visitation rights. State law assumes, however, that the parents of a child know what the kids’ best interests are. Therefore, the burden of proof falls to you to show that interfering with your relationship with your grandchildren would cause them harm.

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