Missouri Child Visitation Attorneys Advocating for Your Interests
It can be gratifying to watch as your grandchild grows and comes into his or her own. The relationship you develop is intimately unique from, yet equally important as, the special relationships you once formed as a parent. When that relationship is severed, either due to divorce, death of a biological parent, or any other reason, it may be possible for a grandparent to restore bonding time with the grandchild. Given the complex nature of grandparents' rights cases, it is important to consult with an experienced lawyer who will provide sound counsel and strong representation.
Attorneys Robert N. Hamilton and Jennifer R. Piper, at the law firm of Reinker, Hamilton & Piper LLC., have extensive experience handling difficult family law disputes in St. Louis, Missouri. Our grandparents' rights attorneys are equipped to answer your questions about the law in Missouri and address the unique facets of your situation.
Grandparent Rights to Visitation or Other Rights
Have you been wrongfully denied access to your grandchild following the divorce of the child's parents? Have abuse, neglect or other factors caused the state to step in to assess the unsuitability of the child's parent? Our attorneys can analyze the situation and provide you with straightforward answers about your options.
Seeking child visitation: Most commonly, grandparent clients come to us when they are being completely denied any time with their grandchildren, particularly following the divorce of the parents or the death of one of the parents. If access has been denied for a minimum of 90 days, and it is determined that it is in the child's best interest to have ongoing contact with the grandparent, it may be possible to obtain visitation rights.
The first step in obtaining grandparent rights to visitation is to request visitation in writing. While the law does not require a written request, it is necessary in order to prove that visitation rights have been denied for 90 days or more.
In general, the court presumes that a parent is making the right decision when it concerns the interests of his or her child. However, there are circumstances in which a skilled lawyer can successfully demonstrate that the benefits of a grandparent's loving support outweigh any reason the biological parent has for denying visitation.
Juvenile cases: When a case has been opened concerning the best interests and welfare of a child — either due to concerns involving child abuse, neglect, unsuitability of a parent, or any other reason — the child's grandparent has a right to intervene and request to be made a party to the case. The juvenile court will make a determination of whether or not the grandparent should be added as a party to the case. However, a determination that the grandparent should be added to the case does not automatically grant the grandparent any visitation rights or any other authority. Only the final determination will reflect such decisions.
In many situations, it may be proper for the grandparent to be appointed as guardian. A guardianship is a temporary arrangement that lasts either until it is modified or the child turns 18. Obtaining a guardianship can resolve many legal issues that arise when a child is being raised by someone other than a biological parent.
Missouri Child Visitation Lawyers Preserving Your Rights and the Interests of Your Grandchildren
Contact our St. Louis law office for a free phone consultation to discuss your rights as a grandparent in complex child custody and visitation matters. We are available to answer your questions and provide you with an honest assessment of your case.